India to open up Covid-19 vaccines to over-18s from May 1 A medical worker inoculates a municipal worker with a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination centre in New Delhi on February 22, 2021. (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)
INDIA will let all its citizens aged over 18 get Covid-19 shots from May 1, the government said on Monday (19) as cases continue to surge to record highs.
The immunisation drive was currently restricted to only citizens aged above 45.
Vaccine manufacturers will need to supply 50 per cent of doses to the federal government and the rest to state governments and the open market at a pre-declared price, the government said.
“Based on this price, state governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments etc would be able to procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers,” the government said.
“Private hospitals would have to procure their supplies of Covid-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50 percent supply earmarked for other than Government of India channel,” it further added.
States would be 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 statement also said.
“The division of vaccine supply 50 per cent to Government of India and 50 per cent to other than Government of India channel would be applicable uniformly across for all vaccines manufactured in the country.”
Moreover, the federal government will allow the imported fully ready to use vaccines to be entirely utilised in the “other than Government of India channel”.
The country on Monday (19) registered a record 273,810 new daily infections and 1,619 deaths. Its total number of cases now stands at more than 15 million, second only to the United States.