The move will put a burden of ₹6,500 crore on the state's coffers, said health minister Rajesh Tope
The registration process for the third phase of the inoculation drive begins 28 April from 4 pm
Ahead of the next phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive in the country, which is scheduled to begin from 1 May, 2021, the Maharashtra government joined several states to announce that it would be providing free Covid-19 vaccines to all citizens in the state aged between 18-44 years.
"Today, the cabinet under the leadership of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has decided to provide free COVID-19 vaccination to all the citizens of Maharashtra aged between 18-44 years," stated the CMO office.
The move will put a burden of ₹6,500 crore on the state's coffers, said health minister Rajesh Tope.
The decision to provide free COVID vaccine to all the people in the age group of 18 to 44 in the state was taken in the state cabinet meeting held today. However, citizens will have to pay for the jabs in private hospitals.
After the meeting, Thackeray clarified that the health department is planning for the vaccination program and the citizens will be informed about it in advance.
"We have been fighting the battle of COVID for the last one and a half years. Vaccination has been started in the state since January in collaboration with the Center. To date, more than 1.5 crore people under the age of 45 have been vaccinated. This is a record in the country", he said.
Discussions have been held with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Health Minister Rajesh Tope and all other key colleagues in this regard.
The Chief Minister added that despite the current financial crisis in the state, the health of the citizens is the top priority and that is why the decision to provide free vaccines to all the people between the ages of 18 and 44 was taken at the state cabinet meeting.
1) 63 existing MCGM/Govt vaccination centres will be available in the age category of 45 years plus, as per reports.
2) 227 new MCGM centres will be opened, one in each Hon’ble Municipal Corporator’s Ward which will be opened for all citizens in 18 years plus age category.
3) Presently 73 vaccination centres in private hospitals would be increased to 100 plus private hospitals and they shall cater for vaccination to all citizens in the age category of 18 plus.
Earlier, Nawab Malik, cabinet minister, government of Maharashtra had already announced that the state government would provide free Covid-19 vaccines for all adults.
The central government has announced a decision to vaccinate people above the age of 18 across the country from 1 May. "Therefore, it is clear that the central government will not supply vaccines to those below the age of 45 years," said Malik's statement on the Facebook page of the Nationalist Congress Party of which he is the national spokesperson.
From 1 May, covid-19 vaccination will be open for everyone above 18 years through booking on the Co-WIN website. The registration process for the third phase of the inoculation drive will begin on 28 April from 4 pm.
"Registration for 18 plus to begin on http://cowin.gov.in, Aarogya Setu App & UMANG App at 4 PM on 28th April. Appointments at State Govt centers & Private centers depending on how many vaccination centers are ready on 1st May for Vaccination of 18 plus,: Aarogya Setu informed in a tweet.
The government has liberalized the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals, and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.
Phase-I of the nationwide covid-19 vaccination drive was launched on January 16, prioritizing protection for healthcare workers and frontline workers. Phase-II was initiated from March 1, focusing on protecting the most vulnerable i.e. all people above 45 years of age.
While Bharat Biotech has fixed the price of its Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, at ₹600 per dose for state governments and at ₹1,200 per dose for private hospitals.
Serum Institute of India (SII)'s Covishield will be available at a price of ₹400 per dose to state governments and ₹600 per dose to private hospitals.
Maharashtra on Tuesday reported the biggest single-day spike in novel coronavirus deaths since the pandemic outbreak in the country. With record 895 more virus-related fatalities recorded in last 24 hours, the death toll in the state has now reached 66,179.
Along with that, the state also reported over 66,358 new cases today, taking the tally to 44,100,85, according to the health bulletin.
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