The Maharashtra Government on Wednesday announced to provide free COVID-19 vaccination to all citizens aged between 18-44 years to combat the pandemic.
In a tweet, the Maharashtra Chief Minister Office (CMO), it informed, "Today, the Cabinet under the leadership of Chief Minister Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray has decided to provide free COVID-19 vaccination to all the citizens of Maharashtra aged between 18-44years. #BreakTheChain"
Under phase three of the vaccination drive, everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1, the central government said on April 19. It also liberalised the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.
The decision to provide free COVID vaccine to all the people in the age group of 18 to 44 in the state was taken in the state cabinet meeting held today.
Today, the Cabinet under the leadership of CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray has decided to provide free COVID-19 vaccination to all the citizens of Maharashtra aged between 18-44years.#BreakTheChainpic.twitter.com/Kv1vIyVEow— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) April 28, 2021
After the meeting, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray clarified that the health department is planning for the vaccination program and the citizens will be informed about it in advance.
"We have been fighting the battle of COVID for the last one and a half years. Vaccination has been started in the state since January in collaboration with the Center. To date, more than 1.5 crore people under the age of 45 have been vaccinated. This is a record in the country", he said.
Discussions have been held with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Health Minister Rajesh Tope and all other key colleagues in this regard.
The Chief Minister added that despite the current financial crisis in the state, the health of the citizens is the top priority and that is why the decision to provide free vaccines to all the people between the ages of 18 and 44 was taken at the state cabinet meeting.
Vaccines from Serum and Bharat Biotech are currently available, and in consultation with them, more and more vaccines will be made available, informed the release.
The Chief Minister has instructed the administration to ensure that there is no hindrance in planning the immunisation program for the age group of 18 to 44 years.
Citizens in this age group should register on the CoWin mobile app, not rush to vaccination centers anywhere.