Free Covid vaccine for all in Bengal, says BJP. ‘Jumla like Bihar’, replies TMC

COVID-19 protocols are being followed at polling booths, during the 6th phase of the West Bengal Assembly election, in North 24 Parganas on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

Day after Mamata Banerjee promised to provide free Covid vaccination to all above the age of 18 years in the state after 5 May, the BJP has now vowed to give free vaccines to Bengal.

Taking to Twitter from its official handle, the BJP wrote, “As soon as BJP government comes to power in West Bengal, Covid-19 vaccine will be provided free of cost to everyone.”

The Trinamool Congress was quick enough to point out that the BJP “forgot” about the free Covid-19 vaccine in Bihar soon after it came to power again in November 2020. The TMC alleged the BJP will forget West Bengal too, if it comes to power.

In a video statement, TMC leader Derek O’Brien said, “BJP’s free vaccine jumla with two phases to go in Bengal. Remember what BJP did in Bihar? They announced during the election free vaccines. Elections finished, they forgot. Free vaccine jumla, vaccines for all in Bengal, don’t believe the BJP, don’t trust the BJP.”

Addressing a public meeting in Tapan on Thursday, CM Banerjee said, “The result of the West Bengal assembly polls will come on May 2. We will provide free COVID vaccination to all above the 18 years in Bengal after May 5.”

Her remark comes against the backdrop of fresh debate across the country over the pricing of COVID-19 vaccines.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) on Wednesday fixed the prices of “Covishield” vaccine at 400 per dose for state governments and 600 per dose for private hospitals.

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“Following the Government of India directives, we are announcing the prices of the Covishield vaccine – 400 per dose for state governments and 600 per dose for private hospitals,” it said.

SII further said the company will serve 50% of the total production to the Government of India’s vaccination program, and the remaining 50% of the capacity will be for the State governments and private hospitals.

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