All 18 years above eligible for vaccine: The government of India announced on Monday that everyone above the age of 18 years is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine after May 1.
The announcement came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to address the current situation of the pandemic in India. The government claimed to have worked hard over the past year in order to get Indians vaccinated in the shortest possible time. PM Modi said that India has been vaccinating people at a world record making pace and will continue to do so with greater momentum.
The decision was taken in light of the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The government in its statement said, “All adults will be vaccinated in “a liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination.”
The Phase-II of the vaccine rollouts started on January 16, 2021, in which healthcare workers and frontline workers were vaccinated. In the second phase, another vulnerable group of people above 45 years of age were prioritised. The people above the age group of 45 had amounted to 80% of deaths in the country due to the virus.
In order to ramp up the process, the government of India asked vaccine manufacturers to increase production. They were empowered by the centre to release 50% of their production to states and markets at a pre-decided rate. They have also been asked by the central government to bring in international players.
Earlier the states were dependent on the centre for procurement of vaccines, now they can directly source them from the manufacturers and prioritise anyone above the age of 18 for vaccination.
In the past few weeks, India reached the top spot in the worst-hit countries by the virus list. Almost 10 states in India are being closely monitored by the centre because of the critical condition. Maharashtra is being seen as the worst-hit state, according to reports Delhi reported up to 30% infection rate in the past week.