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Here Are the States That Will Give Free COVID-19 Vaccine From May 1

Till now, more than 14.78 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in India.

More than 20 States have decided to give free vaccine to all in 18-44 age group when India begins its third phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive from May 1.

Public health agencies around the world have been urging people to get the COVID-19 vaccine doses to fight the pandemic. But many people have expressed apprehension about the safety and side effects of the vaccines. If you're one of them, take note that the benefits of vaccination outweigh risks of side effects. Reassuring that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that getting vaccinated will help protect you against developing severe COVID-19 disease and dying from the viral disease. India will begin its third phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive from May 1, allowing all citizens of 18 years of age and above to get vaccines. In the wake of the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases, many states have decided to provide free vaccinations to all between 18-44 age groups. Maharashtra is the latest one in the list. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday announced that his government will provide free vaccine doses to all people in the 18-44 age group from Maharashtra Day, May 1.

"Despite the financial crises confronting the state, the health of the people is of utmost priority for us which is why the state government has decided to provide free vaccinations to all between 18-44 age group," Thackeray said, as quoted by IANS. But do not rush to the vaccination centres, first get your names registered on the Vaccination App, Thackeray appealed to people.

According to Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Maharashtra has an estimated 5.71-crore people in the 18-44 age-group. This means the state needs around 12-crore vaccines to vaccinate them all. Considering the current rates of COVID-19 vaccines, the state will have to spend around Rs 7,500-crore for inoculating the entire 18-44 age group population, Tope said, adding that the state government will bear the cost of vaccinating the economically weaker sections of society.

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States that will provide free vaccine doses from 1 May

Before Maharashtra, states like Delhi, Karnataka, Haryana, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal had announced their decision to provide free vaccines to the people under this age group in their respective states. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday that his government has approved purchase of 1.34 crore vaccine doses to administer COVID-19 vaccines to all those above 18 years of age in the city for free. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also tweeted that they will provide COVID-19 vaccine free of cost to all above 18 years of age in the state. Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Sikkim and Assam have also announced free vaccination from May 1.

Till now, more than 14.78 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country to people above the age of 45, and health care and frontline workers, as part of the world's largest vaccination drive, which began on January 16 this year.

With inputs from agencies

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