In a significant decision to check the surge in COVID-19 cases, the government, on Monday, announced that everyone above the age of 18 will be eligible to take the COVID vaccine from May 1.
The decision on a liberalized and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Prime Minister said that the government has been working hard for over a year to ensure that the maximum number of Indians can get the vaccine in the shortest possible time.
An important decision taken in the meeting is that pricing, procurement, eligibility, and administration of vaccines have been made flexible in Phase 3 of the world’s largest vaccination drive.
All stakeholders have been given the flexibility to customize to local needs.
Vaccine manufacturers have been incentivized to further scale up their production, as well as attract new national and international players.
Vaccine manufacturers have been empowered to release up to 50 percent of their supply to state governments and in the open market at a pre-declared price.
States have also been 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.
The vaccination drive started earlier will continue as before, providing free vaccination for essential and priority populations as defined earlier healthcare workers, frontline workers, and people above 45 years.