India to give COVID-19 vaccines to all above 18 from May 1 in major boost to fight against pandemic

India to give COVID-19 vaccines to all above 18 from May 1 in major boost to fight against pandemic

All stakeholders given flexibility to customise to local needs and everyone above the age of 18 to be eligible to get vaccine.

Everyone above 18 years of age will be administered COVID vaccine in India, it was decided in a meeting chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, in a boost to the fight against the pandemic that is surging in a second wave.

The liberalised and accelerated phase 3 strategy of Covid-19 vaccination will be implemented from 1st May.

Modi, attending a meeting of doctors and pharma leaders, said the government has been working hard from over a year to ensure that maximum number of Indians are able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible of time.

Pricing, procurement, eligibility and administration of vaccines are being made flexible in phase 3 of India's vaccination drive, which is the world's largest.

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All stakeholders given flexibility to customise to local needs and everyone above the age of 18 to be eligible to get vaccine.

Vaccine manufacturers will be incentivised to further scale up their production, as well as attract new national and international players, according to decisions taken at the meeting.

Vaccine makers are empowered to release up to 50% of their supply to state governments and in the open market at a pre-declared price.

States are 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.

Free vaccination will continue for essential and priority populations as defined earlier. This includes health care workers, frontline workers and those aged above 45.

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