Tami Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday announced that once the coronavirus vaccine is ready, it will be provided to all people of the state free of cost. The Tami Nadu government's decision came ahead of next year’s Assembly elections on 7 October. The Tami Nadu CM's "free Covid-19 vaccine" promise came after the BJP's "free coronavirus vaccination for all" promise in Bihar ahead of the state polls. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had today released the BJP's manifesto for the Bihar assembly elections, which promised free Covid-19 vaccine once it has been cleared by the ICMR. Speaking about the Covid-19 vaccine, Sitharaman said that the country has reached a point where it is on the verge of producing three vaccines after different stages of trial.
"When we reach the stage where scientists give clearance for large-scale production of the vaccine, we will make it available to the people of Bihar free of cost," the Union Finance Minister added. Currently, three vaccine candidates are at different phases of trial in the country. Two homegrown vaccine candidates -- Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and ZyCoV-D by Zydus Cadila have already started the phase II clinical trial. The other vaccine candidate -- Covishield -- developed by the University of Oxford has recently commenced the phase III clinical trial in India. Vaccine maker AstraZeneca has signed a deal with Serum Institute of India to manufacture Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine candidate for India and low-income countries.Meanwhile, India today reported 55,838 fresh Covid-19 cases and 702 fatalities in a span of 24 hours. With this, the overall infections rose to 77,06,946 while the death toll surged to 1,16,616.