KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday (January 10) announced free coronavirus vaccine for people of West Bengal. The announcement from the Chief Minister comes ahead of the state assembly election, which is scheduled to be held in coming months.
In a letter to frontline workers, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the Trinamool Congress government will ensure COVID-19 vaccine reaches free of cost to everyone in the state. “I’m happy to share that our govt will ensure Covid-19 vaccine reaches everyone in the state free of cost.”
It is to be noted that BJP, while campaigning for Bihar assembly election, had promised free COVID vaccination for people of the state. The Bihar general assembly election was held in the month of November. ‘Free Covid vaccination for all’ was one of the poll promises made by BJP in its manifesto during the Bihar assembly election.
India will launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the world’s largest inoculation programme with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers. The decision, the government said, was taken at a high-level meeting where Modi reviewed the status of COVID-19 and vaccine preparedness across states and union territories. “After the detailed review, it was decided that in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu etc, the COVID-19 vaccination will start from 16th January 2021,” it said.
After healthcare and frontline workers, priority will be given to those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities, together numbering around 27 crore, a government statement said.
According to the Health Ministry guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination, the latest electoral roll for Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly elections will be used to identify the population aged 50 years or more.