Will provide COVID-19 vaccine free to people of Delhi if Centre fails to do so: Kejriwal

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New Delhi, Jan 13 (PTI) The AAP government will provide coronavirus vaccine free to the people of Delhi if the Centre fails to do so, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday.

He said he has already appealed to the Centre for ensuring free vaccination in the country since there are many people who may not afford the life-saving shot.

'We will see what the Centre does. If need be and the Centre does not provide the vaccine free of cost, we will make it available free of cost for the people of Delhi,' he told reporters.

The chief minister also appealed for not spreading rumours about the vaccine.

'I understand that the Centre and our scientists have brought the vaccine following all the protocols and safeguards. So, there should not be any doubt and people should come forward for vaccination,' he said.

Kejriwal said the coronavirus vaccine will be given first to healthcare and frontline workers, and he expressed hope it will provide relief to the people from the virus and the pain they suffered over the last one year.

The vaccination drive will begin in Delhi from Saturday at 89 centres. Around 51 lakh people, including health workers, frontline workers, those aged 50 years or above, and those with co-morbidities, will be covered under the first phase of vaccination in the national capital.

Each person will be given two doses of the vaccine, and the government has estimated the requirement of 1.02 crore doses for the first phase of the vaccination in Delhi.

The Centre is bearing the cost of the first phase of vaccination of priority group people.

Sources said over Rs 300 crore will be required to provide free COVID-19 vaccination to 1.5 crore people of around two crore population of Delhi. However, no information was immediately available from the Delhi government about the total number of people to be vaccinated and the expected funds needed for the same.

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