In a big development on the vaccination front, the government has announced that citizens above 18 are now eligible to get the vaccine from May 1.
The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi said the 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.
India has been following a dynamic mapping model based on availability of vaccines & coverage of vulnerable priority groups to take decisions of when to open up vaccinations to other age-groups. A good amount of coverage of vulnerable groups is expected by April 30.
Under the third phase of the vaccination drive commencing next month, the vaccine manufacturers would supply 50% of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the central government and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market.
Manufacturers would have to make an advance declaration of the price for 50 per cent supply that would be available to the state governments and in the open market before May 1, 2021, an official statement said.
Phase-I of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy was launched on January 16, 2021, prioritising protection Health Care Workers (HCWs) and Front Line Workers (FLWs). As systems and processes stabilised, Phase-II was initiated from March 1 2021, focusing on those above 45 years of age, accounting for more than 80% Covid mortality in the country. The private sector was also roped in to augment capacity.
The strength of India’s private sector vaccine manufacturing capability has been strategically empowered through unprecedented decisive steps, from facilitating public-private collaborative research, trials and product development, to targeted public grants and far-reaching governance reforms in India’s regulatory system.
Second dose of all existing priority groups i.e. HCWs, FLWs and population above 45 years, wherever it has become due, would be given priority, for which a specific and focused strategy would be communicated to all stakeholders.
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