In a significant step, the Indian government on Monday announced that all persons above 18 years of age will be eligible to get COVID-19 vaccine doses from May 1, 2021.
While announcing a ‘liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of Covid-19 vaccination from May 1’, the Centre stated that the pricing, procurement, eligibility and administration of coronavirus vaccines being will be made flexible in Phase 3 of the world’s largest vaccination drive.
The government in its order stated that states have been empowered to procure additional coronavirus 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 Centre’s vaccination drive will continue as before, providing free vaccination for essential and priority populations as defined earlier i.e healthcare workers, frontline workers and population above 45 years of age.
The decision to inoculate all above 18 years of age was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi charged meetings with leading doctors and top pharma companies on the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
“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.