The government on Monday opened up vaccination against the coronavirus for everyone above the age of 18 years from May 1. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the day. All adults will be able to take the shots as part of the “liberalised and accelerated phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination”, the Centre said in a statement. The decision came on a day India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases crossed 1.50 crore with a record single-day rise of 2,73,810 new infections. The country’s total active cases surpassed the 19-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.
A number of other decisions regarding flexible pricing, procurement, eligibility and administrations of vaccines during the third phase of the inoculation drive was taken during the meeting. “The government has been working hard from over a year to ensure that maximum numbers of Indians are able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible of time,” the PM said.
Following is a list key decisions taken at the meeting:
– All stakeholders given flexibility to customise to local needs
– Everyone above the age of 18 to be eligible to get vaccine against Covid-19
– Vaccine manufacturers incentivized to further scale up their production, as well as attract new national and international players
– Vaccine manufacturers empowered to release up to 50% of their supply to State Govts. and in the open market at a pre-declared price
– States empowered to procure additional vaccine doses directly from the manufacturers, as well as open up vaccination to any category of people above the age of 18 for the same
The government’s vaccination drive to continue as before, providing free vaccination for essential and priority groups as defined earlier i.e healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 45 years.