COVID Vaccine Free Even At Private Hospitals In This State; Will Others Follow Suit?

Patna: The Centre has announced that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available free of cost at government hospitals while the price has been capped at Rs 250 per dose for private centres.

However, on a day when vaccination for senior citizens and those aged above 45 with comorbidities was rolled out, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the vaccine will be free of cost in the entire state, including at private hospitals.

“Vaccination will be absolutely free in the entire Bihar state. Such facility will be made available even at private hospitals, it will be facilitated by the state government,” Nitish said after getting his first jab of Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced in India by Serum Institute of India.

It may be recalled that the BJP had said ahead of the Bihar assembly elections in October-November 2020 that the entire population of the state would get the vaccine free if voted to power. Nitish, who became chief minister for the third straight term, fulfilled BJP’s promise.

It remains to be seen if other states also follow that path.

Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of poll-bound West Bengal, has said before that she wants to provide the vaccine free of cost to everyone in the state.

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