Himachal Pradesh govt to provide free COVID vaccine to people between 18 and 44 years

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Shimla, Apr 22 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh government on Thursday said it will provide COVID vaccine free of cost to people between 18 and 44 years from May 1.

Following a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj told reporters that the decision was made keeping in mind the welfare of the general public although it would be a huge burden on the exchequer. The free vaccine will be provided in government health institutions, he added. Other states that have made similar announcements include Uttar Pradesh, Assam Kerala.

The Centre had on Monday announced that all adults will be eligible for COVID vaccination from May 1 while private hospitals and states will be able to buy doses directly from manufacturers.

The cabinet also decided to form mobile health teams at the block level to provide better treatment to COVID patients who are in home isolation, he added. Each team will be provided one vehicle exclusively to transfer the serious patients, he said, adding that each medical college will now have a dedicated team headed by a senior doctor to monitor COVID cases, he added. Each outsourced employee engaged in COVID duty will be given an incentive of Rs 200 per shift and COVID patients under home isolation will be provided a nutrition kit, he added. PTI DJI TDS TDS