Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday said it is “unfortunate” and “erroneous” to blame State Governments for the slow pace of vaccination of the 18-44 age category.
The key issue was ensuring supply of the vaccines, which did not happen in any State. This is what affected the vaccination drive, he told the media.
On the Central Government’s announcement of providing free vaccination to the 18-44 category across the country, Baghel said his Government had earlier announced that State residents will be given free vaccine.
The Centre has been providing free vaccines to health and frontline workers and the 45-plus category.
But the vaccination of the 18-44 age category was handed over to the State Governments. The Centre refused to provide free vaccination. The State Governments then utilised their own resources to procure the vaccines, he added.
Baghel said Chhattisgarh has received only 8.31 lakh vaccine doses even after placing the order. The vaccination was thus affected.
It is only after the Supreme Court pulled up the Central government over the vaccination policy that Monday’s decision has been taken, he said.