Uttar Pradesh will offer the Covid vaccine free of cost from May 1, when India’s vaccine net will widen to include all people over the age of 18. The decision was taken late Tuesday at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who last week tested positive for the virus.
UP has also ordered a weekend lockdown, from Friday 8 pm to Monday 7 am – and a night curfew barring movement of all but essential service providers.
“… in the meeting of the Council of Ministers today it has been decided that coronavirus vaccination of all the people above 18 years of age in Uttar Pradesh will be made free… Coronavirus will lose, India will win,” Adityanath tweeted.
The Health Department has been tasked with working out the logistics of this exercise; UP, India’s most populous state, is home to around 20 crore people.
“We have to increase vaccination centres and create a database of the target age-group,” the Chief Minister was quoted by news agency PTI.
Hours earlier Assam issued a similar order, with Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeting: “Assam will give FREE vaccines to everyone from 18-45 years…”