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Indians above 18 years of age can get vaccinated from May 1

This will be the third phase of Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination drive and with this, some units of the vaccines will also be sold in the open market at pre-decided prices.

Indians above 18 years of age can get vaccinated from May 1
The central government, on April 19, 2021, announced an important decision keeping the increasing coronavirus cases in mind. As per the new decision, citizens over the age of 18 will now be vaccinated in India, and the drive will begin on May 1, 2021. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting on Monday with the doctors, COVID-19 task force and pharmaceutical companies, post which, officials decided to announce the vaccination drive for everyone over the age of 18. Earlier, similar COVID-19 vaccination drive was conducted for citizens above the age of 45 and 60, along with healthcare workers and frontline warriors. However, this new decision is expected to be highly helpful in managing the COVID-10 crisis. 

From April 1, 2021, the government had allowed all citizens above 45 to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

This new drive will be the third phase of vaccination, and with this, companies will be allowed to sell the vaccine in the open market. Keeping the same in mind, manufacturers are focusing on ramping up the process, thereby produce more vaccine units  in a month's time. It is also said that 50 per cent of the supply will be handed over to the Central Government and the remaining 50 per cent will be given to the state government and the open market.

Announcing the same, the central government, on Monday, released a statement which said the vaccine manufacturers have been incentivised to scale up their production. New national and international players are expected to participate and contribute in the same, and the supply in the open market will be made at a pre-declared price, basis which the state governments, private hospitals, and industrial establishments would be able to procure the same.

However, clarifying the same, officials also said, "Government of India, from its share, will allocate vaccines to States/UTs based on the criteria of extent of infection (number of active COVID cases) and performance (speed of administration). Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in this criteria and will affect the criteria negatively. Vaccination shall continue as before in Government of India vaccination centres, provided free of cost to the eligible population as defined earlier i.e. Health Care Workers (HCWs), Front Line Workers (FLWs) and all people above 45 years of age."

Several leaders and industry experts welcomed this decision and lauded the efforts taken by the government at the critical hour. India, over the last few days, has recorded more than two lakh cases per day, and the COVID-19 spread in several states has worsened. The country is facing challenges with the supply of oxygen, ventilators, hospitals and other medical supplies. On Monday, April 19, India had over 2.73 lakh new COVID-19 patients, taking the active case count to more than 17 lakh.

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