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CM of India’s richest state yet to take decision on free vaccines as the nation gears up for Chinese coronavirus vaccination

“I have signed a proposal for free vaccines. The chief minister will decide based on the interest of the people. Tomorrow, in the cabinet meeting, we will discuss the issue of global tenders for vaccine procurement,” Deputy CM Pawar had said in a media interaction on Tuesday.

The confusion around Maharashtra’s vaccination drive continues to loom with the MVA leaders sharing fragmented updates. 

On Tuesday Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar informed that a decision over whether the state government will allow free administration of the Covid-19 vaccine to all residents above the age of 18 is yet to be taken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. 

“I have signed a proposal for free vaccines. The chief minister will decide based on the interest of the people. Tomorrow, in the cabinet meeting, we will discuss the issue of global tenders for vaccine procurement,” Pawar said in a media interaction. 

With just three days to go for the commencement of the Phase 03 vaccination drive in India, the MVA government is likely to take a decision in this regard by 12:30 pm this afternoon. 

Aditya Thackeray retracts Tweet

Adding to the confusion, Shiv Sena yuva leader Aditya Thackeray on April 25 had announced through Twitter that the government of Maharashtra has decided to vaccinate its citizens free of cost. The tweet read, “This is not something we think of as a choice, but a duty that we consider of utmost importance.”

Aditya Thackeray’s deleted Tweet on vaccines

The Tweet was deleted within a span of 30 minutes. Aditya Thackeray soon put out another Tweet apologizing to the citizens for creating confusion and said, “The official policy of vaccination will be declared by the empowered committee and we must await it’s recommendation for a fair policy for all sections of society.”

Maharashtra might witness a delay in vaccination drive

In another update, the BMC on Tuesday announced that inoculation of beneficiaries from the 18-44 age group will be carried out only at private vaccination centres in Mumbai.

Registration for vaccination for all those aged 18-44 years will begin at 4 pm today, however, the citizens of Maharashtra are yet not sure whether or not do they have to pay for the vaccine dose when made available. 

The state health officials also cited a possibility of delay in commencing the Phase 03 vaccination due to the ongoing shortage of vaccine doses. Mumbai’s jumbo Covid-19 vaccination facility was seen shut today due to the non-availability of the stock.

The centre will open for vaccination as soon as the stock is replenished, informed the BMC.

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