The Odisha government on Thursday announced that Covid-19 vaccine would be provided free of cost to the healthcare workers and other frontline workers in the state.

"In the first phase, doctors, health workers who are our Corona warriors and elderly persons will be administered Covid-19 vaccine free of cost. In the second phase, we have requested the Centre to vaccinate municipality, electricity, drinking water and other public health workers in the state," Health Minister Nabakishore Das said.

Das said that the vaccination drive is likely to commence in January next year.

"The Central government is planning to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people during the first phase of vaccination. We are working as per the Central government guidelines," the Minister said.

He said the government is ready to distribute and administer the vaccine to its warriors on a priority basis. Centre has issued a detailed guideline for the Covid-19 vaccination drive.

Around 3.2 lakh people will be vaccinated in the first phase in Odisha after the launch of Covid-19 vaccine in the country. For vaccination, 29,276 centres have been identified in the state.

Free vaccine for health workers in Uttarakhand 

Only this week on Tuesday, Uttarakhand Health Secretary Amit Negi had announced that more than 93,000 health care workers of the state would be given free coronavirus vaccine. Negi also said that the Central Government has made it clear that no amount would be taken from health care workers for the vaccine.

In the first phase of vaccination across the country, the centre will provide about 20 lakh vaccines to the state, under this, permanent and contractual workers working in government hospitals, PRD (Prantiya Rakshak Dal) etc., as well as health workers working in private hospitals, would get a free vaccine.

Free vaccine for people of Kerala 

Last week, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had also announced that people of the state would be vaccinated for free whenever the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available. "The government will bear all expenses. We are ready once the Union health ministry gets us enough ampoules," he said adding preference will be given to frontline health workers.

(With Agency Inputs)

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