New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Days after the Centre announced that it is expanding the vaccination drive against COVID-19 by opening up the vaccination process for all adults aged 18 years or above from May 1, the Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh government on Wednesday announced that the state government will bear the cost of the vaccine jabs to all above 18. 

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel also requested the Centre to supply an adequate number of vaccine jabs in the state so that the target to inoculate all above 18 could be reached without any hindrance. 

"Expenses, to vaccinate all aged above 18 years in Chhattisgarh, will be borne by the state govt. We will take all possible steps to protect our citizens' lives. Request central govt to ensure availability of an adequate number of vaccines", Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel said as quoted by news agency ANI. 

The announcement from Baghel came a day after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday announced that the UP government will administer the COVID-19 vaccine to all above 18 years of age free of cost. 

"Dear countrymen, Today it has been decided in the meeting of Council of Ministers that COVID-19 vaccination of all the people above 18 years of age in Uttar Pradesh will be made free by @UPGovt. Corona will lose, India will win ...," he tweeted in Hindi. 

The Centre on Monday announced that all those aged above 18 years will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1. It also liberalised the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.

Under the third phase of the national vaccination drive commencing next month, the vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the central government and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan