With the Centre’s decision to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to all adults from June 21, the Meghalaya government has decided to ramp up vaccination drive in the state.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Thursday said that the Centre has agreed to supply vaccines for the 18+ category and based on the fresh arrival of vaccines, they would be able to vaccinate people in both above 18 and 45 age group.

Sangma further informed that the state government currently has a stock of around 1,50,000 vaccine doses and he expects that the number of vaccination will go up in the days to come.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a centralised vaccine policy and said that the Centre will provide free vaccines to all adults. The central government will buy 75 percent of vaccines and give them free of cost to states.

“No state government would be spending anything for vaccines. Till now, crores of people got free vaccine; now the 18+years segment will be added to this. Government of India will provide free vaccines to all citizens,” the Prime Minister said.

Till the new guidelines take effect from June 21, both the Centre and states will work together on the vaccination drive.

Meanwhile, CM Sangma said that the epicentre of COVID-19 in Meghalaya has shifted from East Khasi Hills to the other districts. He informed that after conducting a genome sequence of several samples, the delta variant of Coronavirus has been detected in large numbers, which is considered to be highly infectious.

Three districts are witnessing a significant rise in the number of positive cases and it is a matter of concern for us, he said.

The Chief minister said that the state government will monitor the situation closely for the next few days and will ensure preparedness of rural areas in their battle against the disease.