UPDATED: April 1, 2021 16:23 IST
The Centre has written to all states and UTs, asking them to allow Covid-19 vaccination on all days in the month of April. India kicked off the third phase of its nationwide inoculation drive on Thursday, allowing those aged above 45 to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
In its letter dated Thursday, the Centre has directed states and UTs to make necessary arrangements for Covid-19 vaccination on all days of the month. This includes gazetted holidays in the month of April.
This step has been taken after detailed deliberations with states/UTs on March 31. The aim is to optimally utilize all Covid-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) across the public and private sectors to ensure a rapid increase in the pace and coverage of vaccination.
Pune-based Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin have been cleared for emergency use in India to date. These vaccines are being administered at designated Covid-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) across the country.
India’s inoculation drive was kicked off on January 16 of this year. Only healthcare workers and frontline workers were eligible for vaccination during the first phase. The cost of inoculation in the first phase was borne by the Government of India.
The second phase began on March 1 with all senior citizens aged 60 and above being allowed to receive the lifesaving jab. Those aged between 45 and 59 with co-morbidities were also deemed eligible for vaccination during this phase.
In an affidavit in the Supreme Court last month, the central government said it opted for phased vaccination to avoid crowding and public safety concerns.
The Centre also said cited the lack of trained medical professionals to justify its decision to opt for phased vaccination of the population.