On Monday, 19th April, the Centre announced that the COVID-19 vaccination will be opened up for all citizens above 18 years of age from 1st May onwards. Also, the states, industrial establishments, and private hospitals can directly procure the vaccine doses from manufacturers.
These decisions were taken in a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
What will happen from 1st May?
From 1st May onwards, all citizens above 18 years of age will become eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. This will further increase the pace of vaccination, by covering a wide range of population. Opening up vaccination for all above 18 had been a constant demand from the states, as well as medical experts. The new decision has given relief to the states.
Currently, which vaccines are being used in India?
India is running the world’s largest and the fastest vaccination drive with two vaccines – Covaxin & Covishield. But an emergency use authorization was given to Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine earlier this month, by India’s Drug Regulator.
What changes in phase 3 vaccination drive starting from 1st May?
There are a few important changes that are going to be made in the new phase of vaccination commencing next month. The 50% of the monthly Central Drug Laboratory (CDL) released doses by the vaccine manufacturers will be provided to the Central Government. The remaining 50% of vaccine doses will be free to be supplied to the state governments and in the open markets.
For the 50% doses which would be available in the open markets and to the state governments, the vaccine manufacturers will have to make an advance price declaration, before 1st May 2021. The state governments, industrial establishments, and private hospitals will be able to obtain the vaccine from the manufacturers based on this price.
What happens to the ongoing vaccination drive?
The ongoing vaccination drive will keep running as it is. In the Government of India vaccination centers, vaccination will continue as before, free of cost to the eligible population – frontline workers, healthcare workers, and all people above 45 years of age.
Source: Hindustan Times
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