Vaccinations will be opened to all above 18 from May 1, the government on Tuesday announced after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a series of meetings over India’s response to record daily surges in Covid cases.
All adults can get Covid shots and states can buy doses directly from vaccine-makers in the “liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination”, the government said, on a day the country reported 2.73 lakh new daily cases in the highest spike since the pandemic broke out a year ago.
India began inoculating people in January using two Covid vaccines – Serum Institute of India’s Covishield developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech’s made-in-India Covaxin. So far, the government had allowed vaccinations only for health workers, frontline workers and those above 45 in a centrally-controlled process.
In his meetings yesterday, PM Modi stressed that vaccination was “the biggest weapon” in the fight against the coronavirus and urged doctors to encourage more and more patients to get vaccinated.