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Free Covid vaccination for all above 18 years of age in Delhi: Kejriwal

Notably, free inoculation is underway for those who are above the age of 45 in the National Capital in the second phase of the world's largest vaccination drive.

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New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced that the Delhi government has decided to administer the COVID-19 vaccine free of cost to all above 18 years of age in the city.

He said the Delhi government has approved the purchase of 1.34 crore vaccines.

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Addressing a digital press conference, Mr Kejriwal said, “The rapid spread of coronavirus cases is worrying many people. The only solution in sight seems to be the vaccine and ensuring a swift administration campaign for the same. In light of this, the Delhi government has decided to administer the vaccine free of cost to all 18+ residents of Delhi. It will be our effort to carry this out swiftly and efficiently. Today, we gave the go-ahead for the purchase of 1.34 crore vaccines for Delhi.”

He said vaccine is emerging as a solution to this pandemic.

‘Those who have been administered the vaccine are either not contracting the virus or contracting only mild forms of it. They can recover at home and do not have to be admitted to the hospital, even when they require hospitalisation their recovery is easy and swift,’ the Delhi Chief Minister said.

‘If we move with this observation then successful vaccination of everyone will mean that the severity of the pandemic will end. Coronavirus will become like any other disease – manageable and with success rates of recovery,’ he said.

Kejriwal said the United Kingdom was facing a similar situation as India is today, one of the main factors behind their ability to overcome the wave was a robust vaccination drive.

Experts agree that vaccination drives will aid in defeating the virus, he said.

Kejriwal said that vaccine price should not be different for the Centre and State Governments.

Saying that ‘this time is not to earn profit but to help’, Kejriwal appealed to the vaccine manufacturers to bring down the price of vaccine to Rs 150 per dose.

He also appealed to the Central government to cap the price of vaccines if needed.

He added that COVID-19 has begun to affect also those below 18 years of age. If these vaccines are effective for their age group, or any special vaccines can be manufactured for children, the Central government should allow the administration of vaccines to children below 18 years.

Kejriwal said, “We are also trying to increase Oxygen beds in Delhi. Today morning, I visited the centre that has been created at the Radha Soami Satsang Beas. It has started functioning at 10 today morning. There are 150 beds as of now, in the next 2-3 days this will be pushed to 500 beds then 2000 beds and finally 5000 beds. We are also creating a 200 ICU bed facility at the Centre. We are creating several such centres in Delhi and hope they would help the people of Delhi.”

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