Rajasthan CM announces free anti-coronavirus vaccine to all above 18

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Jaipur, Apr 25 (PTI) Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Sunday announced the state government will provide free coronavirus vaccine to people above 18 years of age, who will be inoculated beginning May 1.

He said the state government will spend about Rs 3,000 crore on the exercise.

'The state government will provide free coronavirus vaccine to all people above 18 years of age in the state at the cost of about Rs 3,000 crore,' Gehlot said in a tweet in Hindi.

He also said it would have been better if the Centre had agreed to incur the cost of vaccination for the 18-45 age category, as demanded by state governments.

For the past several days, Gehlot has been demanding the Centre bear the cost of vaccination of those above 18 years of age.

During a video conference with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently, Gehlot had raised this issue.

In his tweet on Sunday too, he said, 'It would have been better had the Centre, as demanded by state governments, met the cost of vaccinating the 18-45 age group, as it did in the case of those above 45 and 60. This would have saved states' budget from getting disturbed,' he said.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma said that starting vaccination from May 1 for those above 18 years will depend on the availability of shots.

He said when state government officials spoke to the Serum Institute of India, which manufactures Covishield, they were told that vaccine is not available.

The Centre had last week announced to vaccinate youths above 18 years of age starting May 1. PTI AG TIR TIR TIR