First phase of COVID vaccine to be free: Union health minister
The second phase of COVID-19 vaccine dry run is currently underway in IndiaRepresentational image

First phase of COVID vaccine to be free: Union health minister

Free vaccine will be provided to most prioritised beneficiaries, that is, healthcare workers, frontline workers and the elderly

With the second phase of dry run for COVID-19 vaccine currently underway in the country, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the first phase of the vaccine would be free for all.

Dr Vardhan tweeted, "In 1st phase of #COVID19Vaccination free #vaccine shall be provided across the nation to most prioritised beneficiaries that incl 1 crore healthcare & 2 crore frontline workers."

He added, "Details of how further 27 cr priority beneficiaries are to be vaccinated until July are being finalised."

Addressing media, the Union health minister also appealed to people to not believe rumours about the vaccine. He said, "I appeal to the people not to be misguided by rumours regarding safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine. We will not compromise on any protocol before approving a vaccine."

Worldwide, India has officially recorded the second-highest number of COVID outbreak after the US.

The vaccine which will soon be rolled out in India is developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institue of India (SII). It has been recommended for approved by a government-appointed expert panel to the Drug Controller General of India.

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