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COVID-19 Vaccine | Maharashtra govt likely to vaccinate all citizens for free

Maharashtra is set to join a growing number of states that have already announced free vaccination for all, such as Kerala, West Bengal, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Sikkim, among others.

April 25, 2021 / 06:15 PM IST
Representational image

Representational image

Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray said on April 25 that the state has decided to vaccinate all its citizens free of cost.

Taking to Twitter, the Shiv Sena leader announced: "The Govt of Maharashtra has decided to vaccinate its citizens free of cost. This is not something that we think of as a choice, but a duty that we consider of utmost importance: protecting the citizens from COVID-19."

He later deleted the tweet to avoid causing “confusion regarding the official vaccination policy of Maharashtra that would be fully ensuring fast, efficient vaccination and would leave nobody behind”.

Thackeray added: “The official policy of vaccination will be declared by the empowered committee and we must await its recommendation for a fair policy for all sections of society. My apologies for the confusion if it all it may have caused.”

Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik had said earlier in the day that the state will in all likelihood vaccinate all its citizens for free. Malik said that the initiative has already been discussed with the state Cabinet and global tenders for the same will be floated soon.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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News agency ANI quoted him as saying: “We will vaccinate the entire state population of Maharashtra above 18 years of age for free of cost.”

Maharashtra is set to join a growing number of states that have already announced free vaccination for all. These states are Kerala, West Bengal, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, and Haryana.

Maharashtra, India’s richest state, continues to be the worst hit by coronavirus in the country. It has been adding over 60,000 infections daily. As of now, it has 6.96 lakh active COVID-19 cases. Strict coronavirus restrictions are already in place in the state to contain further COVID-19 spread.

The Maharashtra government will soon be floating tenders for COVID-19 vaccines and Remdesivir injections. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has said: “We have decided to float a global tender for vaccines and Remdesivir (used for the treatment of COVID-19) through a committee headed by chief secretary Sitaram Kunte.”

Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here
Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 25, 2021 05:19 pm

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