Rajasthan government on Sunday announced that it has decided to provide Covid-19 vaccines for everyone above 18 years of age for free in the next phase of the vaccination drive scheduled to begin from 1 May, 2021. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot said, “The Rajasthan government has decided to provide free Covid vaccine to all the people above 18 years of age in the state by spending an amount of about ₹3,000 crore. Registrations for the same will be open from today on Centre’s Co-WIN portal and Aarogya Setu app. He also added that, “It would have been better if the demand of the State Governments were met by the Government of India to privide free cost of vaccination for the youth from the age of 18 to 45 years, the way it was done for the senior citizens.
For the past several days, Gehlot has been demanding from the Centre to bear the cost of vaccination of those above the 18 years of age. Gehlot had raised this issue, during a video conference with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma said that starting of vaccination from May 1 for those above 18 will depend on the availability of shots.He said when state government officials spoke to the Serum Institute of India, which manufactures Covishield, they were told that vaccine is not available.