Free vaccines to everyone between 18-45 years

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, April 21: Assam government has decided to provide free Covid-19 vaccines to everyone between 18-45 years in response to the Centre’s announcement regarding a Liberalised and Accelerated Phase 3 Strategy of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme from May 1, state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said here on Wednesday.

The Centre had announced on April 19 that everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccination from May 1, while private hospitals and states will be able to buy doses from manufacturers. It also said that vaccine manufacturers will be free to supply 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market, for which they will have to make an advance declaration of the price before May 1.

The state health department has already written to Covaxin maker Bharat Biotech for procuring 1 crore vaccines. “Assam will give free vaccines to everyone from 18-45 years. GOI is giving free vaccines for 45+,” Sarma tweeted late on Tuesday. Funds collected in Asom Arogya Nidhi account last year shall be utilised for procuring the vaccines, he said. “Today itself, we’ve placed orders for 1 cr doses with @BharatBiotech,” the health minister added.

In a letter to the Bharat Biotech chairman and MD on Tuesday, principal secretary (health and family welfare) Samir Kumar Sinha expressed interest to procure one crore doses of Covaxin at the rate to be fixed by the Central government. “For this purpose, the terms and conditions of delivery and payment along with the schedule of supplies may please be intimated at the earliest,” he wrote.

Sinha mentioned that the National Health Mission (NHM), Assam will be the nodal agency for this procurement under the ‘Liberalised and Accelerated Phase 3 Strategy’ of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme. Sinha had told reporters on Tuesday that the state government had urged the Centre to send an adequate number of Covid-19 vaccines as the state’s stock will be exhausted in 6-7 days. He said that the state has received a total of 22,93,470 vaccines, comprising 17,52,830 doses of Covishield and 5,40,640 doses of Covaxin, while there is a stock of 5,03,550 vaccines at present. Meanwhile, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal took to Twitter saying, “Assam govt has decided to give free #Covid-19 vaccines to everyone between 18-45 years. Our commitment to the people remain steadfast, as we together move forward under the leadership of PM Shri @narendramodiji to fight the pandemic.” (With PTI input)


Guwahati hotels to provide beds for Covid-19 patients

The hotels in the city have joined hands with private hospitals in the fight against the second wave of the pandemic. The hotels in the city have reportedly agreed to facilitate beds to private hospitals for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. The agreement was reached upon by administrations of some private hospitals and hotels in Guwahati during a meeting with chief secretary Jishnu Baruah at the office of the deputy commissioner of Kamrup (Metro) on Wednesday. The agreement was reached following a rapid surge in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Guwahati and Kamrup (Metro) district as a whole. The Covid-19 patients would be transferred from a private hospital to the nearest hotel, if beds in that hospital are in its full capacity. As many as 742 Covid-19 positive cases were detected from in and around Guwahati city on Tuesday.

Ambulance status granted to oxygen vehicles

Assam government has granted the status of ambulance to all the oxygen vehicles—tankers carrying nitrogen, argon and oxygen. The decision has been taken to ensure their hassle-free movement in the state and transit through the state for speedy delivery of oxygen to critical centres. “Assam govt has granted all oxygen vehicles- tankers carrying Nitrogen, Argon and Oxygen – the status of ambulance, to enable their hassle-free movement in state & transit through Assam for speedy delivery of oxygen to critical centres,” state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said in a tweet.



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