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Harsh Vardhan says Covid-19 vaccine to be provided free of cost across India

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday said that the Covid-19 vaccine will be provided free of cost across the country. The announcement comes amid a dry run for coronavirus vaccination is underway in all the States and Union Territories.

"Not just in Delhi, it will be free across the country," he said.

Earlier today, Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain said the vaccine for Covid-19 will be given free of the cost in the national capital. "Yes, medicines and treatment are being provided for free in Delhi, anyway," he said.

Harsh Vardhan today visited GTB Hospital in the national capital to review the dry run drill for administering Covid-19 vaccine. 

"Feedbacks received after the dry run in four states were included in guidelines for vaccination and today's dry run in all states/UTs is being conducted as per new guidelines. Except for giving the actual vaccine, every procedure is being followed during the drill, he told the reporters after visiting the hospital.

'Don't pay heed to rumours regarding vaccine'

The Union Health Minister also appealed to people not to pay heed to rumours and sad that ensuring the safety and efficacy of the vaccine is the government's priority. "Different kinds of rumours were spread during polio immunisation but people took the vaccine and  India is now polio-free," he added.

On Friday, a government-appointed panel of experts approved the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University for emergency use and will send its recommendations to the country’s drugs regulator, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

The first round of the dry run was conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Punjab on 28-29 December 2020 in two districts each where five-session sites with 25 beneficiaries each were identified.

No major issues were observed in the operational aspects during this dry run. All States expressed confidence in the operational guidelines and IT platform for large scale programme implementation. 

Source: TimesNow

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