Mamata says TMC govt is arranging free COVID vaccine for everyone in Bengal; priority will be given to healthcare workers, cops
Mamata's announcement of free vaccination comes ahead of the West Bengal Assembly election, which is likely to be held over April and May this year
Kolkata: The West Bengal government is making arrangements to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to all the people of the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said.
In an open letter, Banerjee said the COVID-19 warriors, including police, home guards, civil defence volunteers, correctional home and disaster management employees, will be administered the vaccine on a priority basis.
"I am happy to inform that our government is making arrangements for reaching the vaccine to all people of the state free of any charge," the chief minister said in the letter addressed to the frontline workers.
Banerjee expressed her gratitude to all the COVID-19 warriors for their selfless service to the people of West Bengal.
India is set to launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from 16 January with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers across the country.
The chief minister's announcement of free vaccination for everyone comes months ahead of the Assembly election, which is likely to be held in April-May.
Earlier, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had made a similar announcement. The southern state will also go to polls along with Bengal.
The Bihar government has also given the cabinet nod to provide free vaccine to every citizen of the state, a promise the BJP made in its manifesto for the Assembly elections held in October-November.
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The vaccine may be stored at room temperature, and researchers are assessing whether it can be shipped and stored as a freeze-dried powder.
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In his address at the inauguration of the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention, Modi noted India's image as the "world's pharmacy", and said it is ready with two locally manufactured COVID-19 vaccines to "protect" humanity