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Government Opens Up Vaccination For People Above 18 Years

As India is witnessing the deadly second wave of novel coronavirus, the Modi government, on Monday, took a decision to open vaccination for all, aged above 18 years from 1st May onwards. The vaccination drive is currently at its second phase with inoculating people aged above 45.

“India is vaccinating people at world record pace, and we will continue this with even greater momentum,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The government has taken a more liberal approach to vaccinate the Indian population against covid-19 in terms of age eligibility and pricing. As per the decision taken by the central government, States will have the option of fixing age criteria above 18 years. Vaccine manufacturers will supply 50% of their monthly doses to the centre and the remaining 50% will be supplied to states and in the open market.

The statement issued by the government read: “Everyone above the age of 18 to be eligible to get vaccine against COVID-19. Vaccine manufacturers incentivised to further scale up their production, as well as attract new national and international players.”

Vaccine makers will scale up their production and attract national and international vaccine makers to vaccinate the Indian population aged above 18 years. States can now directly procure doses from the vaccine manufacturers and have been given a free hand on fixing the age criteria above 18 years.

As per reports of PTI, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a meeting with all the vaccine manufacturers today, followed by discussions with India’s top doctors and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.

Currently, Covishield (Oxford/Astrazeneca) and Covaxin (Bharat Biotech) are being administered in India. The Third vaccine, Sputnik V (Russia) has been approved by the Indian Drug Regulator and will be sold in India by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. Other global vaccines, including Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, are expected to be available in India soon.

The first phase of the inoculation drive began from 16th January, wherein Healthcare and Front Line workers were vaccinated. The second phase was initiated from 1st March with inoculating people aged above 45 years. Reportedly, over 12 crore people have been vaccinated so far.

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