With mere days left before India's COVID-19 inoculation drive opens for all adults, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is once again batting for vaccines to be made available to all free of cost. Thus far, some states have notified their intention to make the vaccine freely available. However the provisions will be different for government and private centres during the third phase.
Sharing a modified dictionary meaning for the word 'free', Gandhi explained that this meant it would "cost nothing". Much as a real dictionary would, he had two example sentences. "India must get free COVID vaccine. All citizens must receive the inoculation free of charge, the post added.
This incidentally is not the first time that Gandhi has lashed out at the government calling for free jabs. "Enough discussion has taken place. Countrymen should get the vaccine free of cost - end of story. Do not make India a victim of the BJP system!" he had tweeted in Hindi earlier on Monday.
In this phase, manufacturers will be required to supply 50% of their monthly doses to the government and the rest to state governments or the open market. As such, the manufacturers of the two vaccines presently being used in India had recently notified their new rates for the government and private sectors.
Registrations for the third phase began on Wednesday evening with many a hiccup. But while the evening began with many finding themselves unable to access the platforms in question, the first day closed with more than 1.3 crore registrations on the CoWIN platform. "Handling more than 50000 API calls per second is mammoth!" the Aarogya Setu app exclaimed.
This does not however mean that registered individuals can simply turn up for a jab on May 1. As the app's Twitter handle explained, "Vaccination appointments for 18 plus will be possible once the State Governments and Private Vaccination Centers schedule Vaccination sessions".