Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has announced that COVID-19 vaccines would be free for all people in the state, once it was ready. 

Speaking in Pudukkottai district, the Chief Minister said: "Everybody in Tamil Nadu will be given the vaccine for free. As soon as the vaccine is found, the Tamil Nadu government will give it to everyone for free."

The statement comes on a day when BJP announced that if voted to power in Bihar, it would ensure that all people in the state receive free Covid-19 vaccine.   

"As soon as the COVID-19 vaccine is available for mass production, every person in Bihar will get free vaccination. This is the first promise of our election manifesto," Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. 

The vaccine promise drew criticism from all quarters, but the party defended its move stating that the Centre would provide the vaccines at a 'nominal cost' and that it was up to the state government to decide if the vaccine had to be distributed for free.

Clearly, vaccine politics has taken centrestage in the election season. 

And with Tamil Nadu scheduled to go to polls in May 2021, both AIADMK and DMK are bound to compete over access to vaccines, all of which are in various stages of development.