The Health Minister said that healthcare workers in both government and private hospitals will be the first to receive the vaccine, followed by the poor and daily wage labourers.

Telangana will give COVID-19 vaccine for free to the poor Eatala Rajendar
news Coronavirus Saturday, October 24, 2020 - 11:13

COVID-19 vaccines will be provided for free to the poor in Telangana, the state’s Health Minister Eatala Rajendar told media on Friday. The statement by the minister comes after the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said that everyone in the state would be given vaccine for free. Tamil Nadu however will go to polls in May 2021 and it will depend on what the new government decided. The ruling BJP meanwhile made a poll promise in Bihar to provide free COVID-19 vaccine if voted to power, a promise that has recieved much criticism. 

Speaking to Times of India, the Health Minister said the vaccine will be given free of cost to the poor and healthcare workers in the state and that there was no question of commercialising it.

A similar stand was also taken by the Health Minister for Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma, who also said that the doses will be free for the people of the state. The promise of free vaccine is not linked to the polls in Telangana and Assam.

Eatala Rajendar stated that it was the responsibility of the state and the Centre to ensure that vaccination is free for the poor. The minister said that the cost of the vaccine doesn’t matter and that those visiting government hospitals will be given the doses for free.

In Telangana, health care workers in both government and private hospitals will be the first to receive the vaccine, followed by the poor and daily wage labourers, stated the minister.

The Health Minister said parameters for distribution will be announced when decided. An expert committee will also be constituted to finalise how the free vaccine will be distributed.

The promise of a free vaccine was made on Thursday at the unveiling of the BJP's Bihar poll manifesto. The promise of a free vaccine for all was declared by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who said that as soon as the COVID-19 vaccine will be available for production on a mass scale, every person in Bihar will get free vaccination. This is the first promise made in the poll manifesto by the party. The move to make the vaccine a poll promise had triggered a row among political parties, who called the move an effort to politicise the pandemic.

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