COVID-19 vaccine will be free for everyone, says Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday announced that the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided free of cost throughout the country, reports claimed.

On being asked about the same, Jain said, “Yes, medicines and treatment are being provided for free in Delhi, anyway.” Commenting on the development, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “Not just in Delhi, it will be free across the country.”

The statement by Satyendar Jain and Dr. Harsh Vardhan came at a time when the country is conducting a dry run for vaccination. In Delhi, the dry run began at three sites, which were visited by the union health minister.

“I want to appeal to people to not believe in any rumours. There should be no rumours about the vaccine’s safety…Everything has been checked in detail. Initially when the polio vaccine was rolled out, even then rumours had been floated. But once it went on the floor, all people were assured about its safety. Our prime criteria in the vaccine trial are the safety and efficacy and nothing will be compromised,” Vardhan told reporters.

“Vaccine hesitancy was an issue even when we started polio immunization drive but we must remember its success. I appeal to the people not to be misguided by rumours regarding safety & efficacy of #COVID19vaccine We will not compromise on any protocol before approving a vaccine,” Harsh Vardhan tweeted.

Earlier on Thursday, the Centre had stated that the activity was set to be conducted by all state and union territory administrations on January 2 to test the linkages between planning and implementation, and identify challenges.

“Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Shahdara, Urban Primary Health Centre, Daryaganj, and Venkateshwar Hospital, Dwarka, are the three sites in Delhi which have been selected for the dry run of the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine in the national capital,” a senior official said on Saturday.

A video conference was also held under the chairmanship of the Delhi health secretary on Friday for conducting a dry run for COVID vaccination at three selected sites, one each in Central District, Shahdara District and southwest district, according to the latest health bulletin.

From installing freezers to setting up cold chain equipment, arrangements are being made at a Delhi government hospital here for storing the vaccine, whenever it arrives.

The Delhi government is fully prepared to receive, store and administer COVID-19 vaccine to 51 lakh priority category persons in the city in the first phase of vaccination, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said on December 24.

These persons include the healthcare workers, frontline workers, people aged above 50 and those below 50 years but with co-morbidities.

 

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