UPDATED: April 19, 2021 20:37 IST
The Covid-19 vaccination drive will open for all persons above 18 years from May 1. The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.
The Centre had launched a nationwide vaccination drive on January 16 for healthcare and frontline workers and expanded it to those above 45 on April 1
During Monday’s meeting, PM Modi said that the government had been working hard for over a year to ensure that most Indians get vaccines in the shortest possible time. He added that India is vaccinating people at a record pace and this will continue with even greater momentum.
As part of the ‘liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of Covid-19 vaccination’, all persons above the age of 18 years will be eligible to get Covid-19 vaccine jabs.
GOVT TO ALLOW VACCINE SALE ALSO IN OPEN MARKET
In this phase, the state governments will be allowed to procure vaccines directly from the manufacturers. The vaccine manufacturers will also be allowed to sell the vials in the open market.
“Under Phase 3 of Covid vaccination strategy, vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory released doses to the Government of India and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market,” an official statement from the Centre said.
“The Government of India, from its share, will allocate vaccines to states/UTs based on criteria of the extent of infection (number of active Covid cases) and performance (speed of administration). Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in this criteria and will affect the criteria negatively,” the statement said.
The division of vaccine supply, ie, 50 per cent to the Centre and 50 per cent to state government or private buyers, is only mandatory for the vaccines manufactured in India. The sale of all imported vaccines will be allowed in the open market without restrictions, the Centre said.
FREE VACCINE FOR CURRENT ELIGIBLE GROUPS TO CONTINUE
As per the government order, the vaccination shall continue as before in Government of India vaccination centres, provided free of cost to the eligible population as defined earlier ie, health care workers, front line workers and all people above 45 years of age.