Kerala announces free COVID-19 vaccine for all, but advises caution amid ongoing local body polls

Kerala chief minister Pinarayai Vijayan, however, said that the quantity of COVID-19 vaccine that would be allotted to the state by the Centre was not yet known

Press Trust of India December 12, 2020 22:37:54 IST
Kerala announces free COVID-19 vaccine for all, but advises caution amid ongoing local body polls

File Images of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. PTI

Thiruvananthapuram: COVID-19 vaccine will be made available free of cost to all people in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Saturday.

"No one will be charged for the vaccine. This is the stand of the government," he told reporters at Kannur.

Kerala is the latest to announce free of cost COVID-19 vaccine for its people. States, including Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, have already made a similar announcement.

The Centre on Tuesday said three COVID-19 vaccines, developed by Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India and Pfizer, are under active consideration of India's drug regulator and there is hope that early licensure is possible for all or any of them.

Five vaccine candidates are under different phases of clinical trials in the country.

Vijayan said the quantity of the vaccine that would be allotted to the state by the Centre was not yet known.

"The fact is that the number of COVID-19 cases are decreasing, which is a matter of relief. However, it needs to be seen if the local body polls, two phases of which are over, would contribute to increase in cases. That will be known only in the days to come," he said.

If the cases do not increase, this trend (of cases declining) will continue, the chief minister added.

Kerala on Saturday recorded 5,949 COVID-19 cases and 32 deaths, taking the case load to 6.64 lakh and the toll to 2,594. The active cases stood at 60,029.

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