Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his announcement that the Centre would provide free coronavirus vaccines to states and Union Territories for inoculation of all above the age of 18 from June 21.
The PM, in his address to the nation on Monday, had also said vaccine supply would be increased significantly in the coming days.
Addressing the MP cabinet, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan hailed the PM's announcement on free vaccines to states as a historic decision.
"Earlier, states were given this (vaccination) work but yesterday the PM announced that the Centre will carry out procurement and provide free jabs to all in the 18-44 age group (those in the 45-plus age category were already getting free doses in the state)," he said.
Chouhan said the Centre's decision will speed up the vaccination drive in the country. "This was not about money. Every state was making efforts to get vaccines. Some of the states floated global tenders but to no avail.
"Running the vaccination (programme) smoothly in the entire country was not possible without the prime minister. So, it was necessary to run the vaccination programme under the PM's leadership," the MP CM further said.
The PM, in his address, had said the Centre had decided to buy 75 per cent of doses from vaccine makers, including 25 per cent of the state quota, and give them for free to state governments.
Modi had added that private sector hospitals could continue to procure 25 per cent of vaccines, but their service charge would be capped at Rs 150 per dose over a fixed price of the vaccine.