MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government will float global tendersfor providing affordable and quality anti-COVID 19 vaccines for free to adult citizens below 45 years, NCP leader and state Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said on Sunday.
Talking to reporters, Malik said the vaccination drive beginning May 1 will be taken up using the state’s funds.
“Global tenders will be floated to purchase affordable and quality vaccine,” he said.
Malik said the Centre had announced to launch a vaccination drive for the citizens above 18 years beginning May 1.
“It is clear that the Centre will not provide vaccination for the people below the age of 45 years, which will be done by states,” he said.
Citing manufacturers of vaccines, the minister said Covishield vaccine will be available to the Centre at Rs 150 per injection, while the rate fixed for state government is Rs 400 per dose and for private hospitals Rs 600 per dose.
The price of Covaxin is fixed at Rs 600 per dose for states and Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals, he said.
“The issue was discussed in the last cabinet meeting and it was agreed to provide free vaccination for the people below 45 years.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has agreed for the same,” Malik said.
The NCP is a part of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government headed by Uddhav Thackeray.
On Saturday, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had said the Maharashtra government will float a global tender for COVID-19 vaccines and Remdesivir injections.
Meanwhile, Malik thankedthe Union government for increasing the supply of Remdesivir injections to Maharashtra, saying that raising the supply to 40,000 vials per day from 26,000 vials will ease the shortage of the key drug for a few days.
“If the Centre accepts our demand for providing 50,000 vials per day,the Remdesivir shortage would end.
CM Uddhav Thackeray is following up on getting the balance 10,000 vials stock,” he said.
Several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim etc, have reportedly announced free coronavirus vaccination for their adult population.