Amid reports of general healthcare and frontline workers not looking very much enthusiastic towards getting the Covid- 19 vaccines, a host of Bihar ministers headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar took the vaccines today. The move is set to encourage the reluctant workers to join the vaccination drive and make it a success.

Chief minister Kumar himself rushed to the IGIMS hospital in Patna to get the first dose of vaccine on his 70th birthday. Apart from him, three of his Cabinet colleagues, Tarkishore Prasad, Renu Devi, both deputy chief ministers in his government and education minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary also were administered the first dose of the vaccine.

The chief minister appealed to the people to get themselves vaccinated and announced to provide free vaccines to the masses keeping in view NDA’s pre-poll promises.

He said the government would bear the cost of the vaccines in case the people visited the private hospitals to get the jabs. The free vaccination was one of the promises made by the NDA during the recent elections and a proposal to the effect received the Cabinet’s nod upon formation of the new government in November last year.

The chief minister also announced all the legislators (both from the Bihar assembly and the Bihar legislative council) would get the shots soon.

“Initially it was proposed that MLAs and MLCs be given the jabs at the Vidhan Sabha premises itself. But, since better logistics are available here, they will be requested to take the shots at the hospital,” the chief minister announced.

According to a report of the health department, more than 6.50 lakh healthcare and frontline workers have got the shots so far. While more than 4 lakh healthcare workers were provided the first dose, over 80,000 of them have got the second shots. Similarly, more than 1.6 lakh frontline workers have been given the first dose of vaccines. Covid-19 has claimed 1,541 lives and infected 2,62,534 persons in the state so far.