Kolkata: The West Bengal government is making arrangements to provide free vaccines for the novel coronavirus to all the people of the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said. “I am happy to announce that our government is making arrangements to facilitate the administration of #COVID19 vaccine to all the people of the state without any cost,” the chief minister said.
The chief minister’s announcement of free vaccination for everyone comes months ahead of the assembly elections, which are likely to be held in April-May.
India is set to launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers across the country. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Serum Institute of India’s Covishield developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has been granted approval for emergency use.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual meeting with all chief ministers on Monday to discuss the ongoing Covid-19 situation and also evaluate states’ preparedness ahead of vaccine rollout.
Meanwhile, West Bengal’s Covid-19 tally rose to 5,59,886 on Saturday as 787 more people tested positive for the infection, while 20 fresh fatalities pushed the state’s coronavirus death toll to 9,922, a health bulletin said.
As many as 978 people have been cured of the disease, taking the recovery rate among the coronavirus patients in the state to 96.79 per cent, it said. The state now has 8,034 active COVID-19 cases, while 5,41,930 people have recovered from the disease so far, the bulletin said.