The vaccination drive will be opened up for all citizens above 18 from May 1, the Government of India announced on April 19. The immunisation drive was currently restricted to only citizens aged above 45.
“Everyone above the age of 18 to be eligible to get a vaccine against COVID-19,” said a statement issued by the government. “Vaccine manufacturers incentivised to scale up their production further, as well as attract new national and international players,” it added.
“Vaccine manufacturers empowered to release up to 50 per cent of their supply to state governments and in the open market at a pre-declared price,” the Centre further stated.
Manufacturers would transparently make an advance declaration of the price for 50 per cent supply available to state governments and in the open market before May 1, 2021.
“Based on this price, state governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments etc…… would be able to procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers,” the Centre said.
“Private hospitals would have to procure their supplies of COVID-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50 per cent supply earmarked for other than Government of India channel,” it further added.
Private vaccination providers shall transparently declare their self-set vaccination price. The eligibility through this channel would be opened up to all adults, i.e. everyone above the age of 18, the statement further noted.
“Pricing, procurement, eligibility and administration of vaccines being made flexible in phase 3 of the world’s largest vaccination drive”, the central government said, adding that “all stakeholders are given the flexibility to customise to local needs.”
States would be empowered to procure additional vaccine doses directly from the manufacturers and vaccination to any category of people above the age of 18 for the same, the statement further said.
“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,” the Centre clarified.
The government has been working hard for over a year to ensure that maximum numbers of Indians can get the vaccine in the shortest possible time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was reported as saying in the official release.