Indian PM Modi pronounces free COVID-19 vaccines for all adults By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, India, Jan. 29, 2021. REUTERS / Adnan Abidi / File Photo

(Corrects mutilations in the headline, no change to the story text)

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monday that the Indian federal government would make free COVID-19 vaccines available to all adults starting later this month to turn the tide of a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands in India.

Modi said in a televised address that the federal government would take over the vaccination task from the state governments.

“It was decided that starting June 21st, all adults over the age of 18 would be vaccinated free of charge,” he said. (This story corrects headline mutilations)

As part of previous policy, the federal government gave the elderly and frontline workers free vaccines, and let state governments and private hospitals administer doses to people ages 18 to 45 for a fee.

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