Maharashtra Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope, on Sunday, raked up his demand for the central government to bear all the cost of vaccination and make the vaccines available to states free of cost. Tope told the Free Press Journal, “The central government should provide vaccines free of cost to the states. Two doses will cost Rs 500 each. It should bear the entire cost.’’
In Maharashtra, 12 crore people will be vaccinated twice. “Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted restricted emergency use approval, which is not a final one. For emergency use, the consent of patient and doctor is required. The patient will have to bear the cost,” he noted.
As reported by the Free Press Journal, Tope on December 17 had made a strong case for the central government to provide vaccines to states free of cost. He had further stated that, if it does not give vaccines for free, Maharashtra government will not shrug off its responsibility towards its citizens.
Tope’s colleague in the cabinet and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief spokesman Nawab Malik, after Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) promise in the Bihar poll manifesto to provide the COVID-19 vaccine free, said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government will also make available the vaccine for free in Maharashtra.
The state government, in the supplementary demands passed by the legislature during the recently held winter session, has earmarked Rs 22 crore for the development of COVID-19 vaccine cold storage facilities with negative temperature.
The chief secretary-led state level steering committee meeting for the vaccination has said health workers from government and private hospitals, salaried workers and employees from the Integrated Child Development Project will get the first shot of the vaccine.
The government has put in place coordination mechanisms at various levels for the vaccination. After the state level steering committee, there is a state action force, state control room, district action force at district level, district control room, taluka action force at taluka level and taluka control room.