Adults above the age of 18 years in the state of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh will get free COVID-19 vaccination from May 1.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan made this announcement on Wednesday (April 21) after chairing a cabinet meeting. This is the third BJP-led government, after Assam and Uttar Pradesh, to announce that they will provide free COVID-19 vaccination to adults above the age of 18.
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel too said that the state government will pay for the COVID-19 vaccination for all those above 18 and urged all those eligible to take the vaccine. He added that they have requested the Central government to ensure availability of an adequate number of vaccines in the state.
On April 19, the Centre had announced that all adults will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination from May 1, while private hospitals and states will be able to buy doses directly from manufacturers.
The Centre took this decision as several states such as Maharashtra, Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan had demanded that the age restriction of 45 years be removed for vaccination. According to official government data, India crossed a landmark by administering vaccine doses to more than 13 crore citizens becoming the fastest country to do so in just 95 days. The Union Health Ministry said that US too 101 days, while China took 109 days to administer this number of doses.
Moreover, more than 29 lakh vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.
The government is scaling up its immunisation programme to combat a severe second wave of coronavirus sweeping the country. The country has been consistently witnessing a record surge in COVID-19 cases. Ten states including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh are accounting for 72 per cent of the new coronavirus cases in the country.
Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 62,097. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh with 29,574 while Delhi reported 28,395 new cases.
India continues to record grim figures as it has 2,95,041 new cases on April 21 with more than 2,000 deaths in a single day.