In a significant step, the Indian government has announced that all persons above 18 years of age will be eligible to get COVID-19 vaccine doses from May 1, 2021. At present inoculation is allowed for people above the year of 45. Now, under the 'liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination' that would come in effect from May 1, inoculation will continue free of cost to the eligible population. And what is even more interesting is that a small town in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur has adopted an innovative strategy to encourage people to come for vaccination.
Tomatoes and covid-19 vaccine to go hand-in-hand in Bijapur. Yes! The residents who come for vaccination at the designated vaccine centres are being offered tomatoes as an encouragement, news agency ANI reported along with a few photographs on Twitter.
Take a look:
Reportedly, many women were seen getting packets of tomatoes as they stepped out of a medical centre after vaccination. An official said that it was an effort to “encourage” people to get inoculated. "It’s being done to encourage them. We appealed to vegetable vendors, they supplied to the municipality," Purshottam Sallur was quoted as saying by ANI.
Twitterati were happy about this unique initiative of Bijapur. A user said, "Hats off to the person who started this idea..I know for free Tomatoes people will come like honeybee ( Even my family goes to shops which offer something free) so appreciate this move ."
See the reactions here:
Meanwhile, the Central government said that all above 18 years of age will be eligible for vaccination from May 1 while private hospitals and states will be able to buy doses from manufacturers. The government had launched the first phase of vaccination on January 16 opening it for frontline workers. Later on March 1, all people above 45 years of age allowed to take the vaccine. The move from the Centre is aimed at scaling up inoculation came as 25 lakh cases were added in just 15 days in the country.