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COVID vaccines

India's Modi government starts free COVID shots for all adults

Move speeds up process to reach goal of vaccinating 940m citizens by year-end

A man receives a vaccine shot in New Delhi on Feb. 13. The country began a free nationwide COVID-19 vaccination program for all adults on June 21.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday began no-cost COVID-19 vaccinations for all citizens over 18 years old -- about 940 million people. It also took over vaccine procurement from the states, which had been struggling to arrange doses for their own vaccination programs.

"From today, people aged 18 and above will get free vaccine under the Indian government campaign and the speed of the vaccination will also increase," Home Minister Amit Shah said during his visit to the western state of Gujarat. "It is a very big decision considering the huge population of the country," he said, appealing to the citizens to get their jabs as soon as possible.

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