Raipur: Commenting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement to provide free Covid vaccines to the state, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel said that it’s a delayed decision.
“The biggest challenge at present is the continuous supply of vaccine doses by central government. We had made an announcement in the budget session of Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly that every person in Chhattisgarh will be provided free of cost Covid vaccine. Central government had made arrangements for free vaccination of only health workers, frontline workers and those above the age of 45 years, but when it came to the age group of 18 to 44, central government left it to the states”, he said.
He added that at that time as well, the chief ministers of all states had demanded free vaccination but their demands remained unheard. Later, the states had to make arrangements for vaccination from their own treasury.
“The main problem is the timely supply of the vaccine doses. We have received only 9.38 lakh vaccine doses in Chhattisgarh from May 1 to June 7. This has been the pace of vaccine supply. How can we provide free vaccination with such scanty and irregular supply of vaccine doses? The allegations that are being leveled against the states are completely wrong”, said the chief minister.
Meanwhile, the state health department has so far ordered 1.5 crore vaccine doses from the manufacturing companies of both Covaxin and Covishield, and Rs 47.34 crore have been paid so far for 14.18 lakh dosages including 11.66 lakh 66 Covishield doses and 2 lakh Covaxin doses.
Till date 9.38 lakh doses have been received for the age group of 18-44 year old. As many as 1.5 lakh doses of Covaxin were received on May 1, 3.5 lakh doses of Covishield Vaccine were received on May 8, 2.97 lakh doses of Covishield Vaccine were received on May 15 and 1.41 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine were received on June 5. Till June 6, about 8.31 beneficiaries in the age group of 18-44 years have been vaccinated (with Covaxin and Covishield Vaccine).