Bengaluru: The Karnataka government would soon decide on providing a free vaccine to treat COVID-19 when available, said the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka CN Ashwath

Speaking to the media on Sunday "A meeting has been convened here after Dasara to decide on the free distribution of vaccine to treat the COVID-19 pandemic, as and when the central government makes it available for the state," said Ashwath Narayan.

The state government had already decided to give the vaccine free first to its healthcare warriors, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, and their associates who have been treating COVID-19 patients across the state since mid-March.

Ashwath added that "As COVID-19 patients are already being tested and treated free in state-run hospitals, they will be administered the vaccine free of charge. The Chief Minister will decide on giving it free for all".

Also read: Karnataka: COVID-19 positivity rate drops to 4.41%

Opposition leader Siddaramaiah also urged the state government to declare a free vaccine to the people across the state as the ruling party has promised in its poll manifesto in Bihar.

"As the BJP has made providing vaccine free an election issue in Bihar, its government in the state should also declare it free for the Karnataka people," asserted Siddaramaiah in Kannada.

Meanwhile, three vaccine candidates are at the advance stage of trials for treating the virus, which infected over 78 lakh people, and claimed lives of 1.8 lakh people across the country, while 6.77 lakh are under treatment across the state and over 71 lakh people have recovered.