Back in October 2020, BJP in its state election manifesto had promised that Bihar will get free vaccination if they come to power. There was a lot of criticism then about the promise. But now, the Bihar government led by Nitish Kumar in which BJP is the major partner, has shown how such promises can be delivered.
Free Covid Vaccine for Bihar – Doubts and Arguments Back Then
Many had questioned whether making such a promise is justifiable. Their argument was- If people of Bihar are promised free vaccines, what about other Indians? How can the BJP, which is in power at the Centre, give such a promise to one state?
BJP offered a logical answer. It said: Health is the state subject. When the vaccine arrives, the Centre certainly makes an arrangement for distributing it to all states. Nevertheless, it is the state government that needs to spend money if it decides to give free vaccines. So, there is nothing strange if the Bihar BJP is promising in its manifesto that if it comes to power, it will arrange for free vaccine.
How the Bihar Government Delivered It
Before the vaccination drive extended to the second phase which caters to section of common people, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made an announcement, saying that in Bihar, people who opt for vaccination will be administered freely, even if they take it in private hospitals.
How is this different from other states?
In this second phase, people above the age of 60 years and those who aged above 45 and have co-morbidities can apply for vaccination and wait for their turn through three methods- advance self-registration, onsite registration and facilitated cohort registration.
But those who opt for taking jab a at private hospitals need to spend money from their pocket which is reported to be capped at ₹250.
As we see in the instance of Bihar, the state government will cover this price.