COVID-19: No Clarity Yet On Giving Vaccine Free To All, Says Govt Panel

by GoNews Desk 1 year ago Views 2696

COVID-19: No Clarity Yet On Giving Vaccine Free To
At least six state governments have announced to give free coronavirus vaccine but the Central Government’s position on this is not yet clear.

Head of the COVID-19 vaccine panel, Dr VK Paul, said that the availability of free coronavirus vaccine would depend on the outcome of the clinical trials underway to test the vaccine. The panel led by Dr Paul, a member of the NITI Aayog, is overseeing vaccine development as well as planning its distribution. Dr Paul said that it seems that “resources wouldn’t be a problem” in making vaccines available for free in the “near future”. That is, they have indicated that the panel is also considering the availability of free vaccines.

Dr VK Paul said, "We'll have more clarity in the weeks ahead when trial data from the ongoing trials (phase 3) of the Serum Institute of India (which is testing the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine) is available. The success of it and the other candidates will determine the availability and the dosage required and then we can discuss financing. The next three weeks will yield clarity on this.” 

He further said that the government provides vaccines free of cost to children and pregnant women under its National Immunisation Program, but the sheer scale of the pandemic and complex international financial agreements on vaccine, mean there is uncertainty on how much the Centre will have to pay for the vaccines.

Meanwhile, the BJP promised free vaccines in its manifesto of Bihar Assembly Elections. Later, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry among other states also announced to provide COVID-19 vaccines for free.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, while taunting the BJP's election promise of providing the Coronavirus vaccine free in Bihar, asked whether people from other states came from Bangladesh or Kazakhstan?

Moreover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address had discussed the COVID-19 vaccine. PM had said that scientists of India are working towards this and the results will be in our favour soon. But amid all promises and allegations, the citizens are not yet able to know whether the vaccine will be available for free or not.

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