In a complete U-turn, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said that he will take Covid vaccine. He said that he will also appeal to those who could not take vaccine due to shortage get inoculated.
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His announcement comes just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that from June 21, the Centre will takeover government vaccination process and states won’t have to procure separately.
In a tweet today, Akhilesh Yadav said that the Centre had to take this decision after seeing massive public outrage. The Samajwadi Party leader welcomed the decision and said that now he will also take Covid vaccine.
This is significant as he was the among the first to publicly announce that he won’t take the vaccine “developed by the BJP”. He made this statement in the first week of January, when Indian was planning to roll out vaccination process.
Addressing a press conference on January 2, when India was conducting dry-run for the vaccine, Akhilesh Yadav said that he will not get vaccinated as the “BJP cannot be trusted”.
“I will not take the vaccine at this moment. That too given by BJP. How can I trust BJP’s vaccine, not a chance. When our government will be formed, everyone will get a free vaccine. We cannot take the BJP vaccine,” he had said.
On Monday, Prime Minister Modi announced that it had been decided that the 25 per cent vaccination that was with states would now be undertaken by the Government of India. This will be rolled out in two weeks. “In two weeks, the Centre and states will make necessary preparations as per new guidelines,” he said.
He also announced that 21st June onwards, the Centre will provide free vaccine to all Indian citizens above 18 years of age. “Government of India will buy 75 per cent of the total production of the vaccine producers and provide to the states free of cost,” he said in his address to the nation.
The Prime Minister said no state government would be spending anything for vaccines and the Centre will provide free vaccines to all the citizens. His said that this decision was made after many state chief ministers requested him for central procurement of vaccines.
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