All above the age of 18 years will become eligible for COVID-19 vaccine from May 1

The Centre has decided to allow vaccination to everyone above the age of 18 from May 1.

The decision was taken during a COVID-19 review meeting of the Central Government on Monday.

The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Government has been working hard from over a year to ensure that maximum numbers of Indians are able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible of time,” said PM Modi during the meeting.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM COVID-19 REVIEW MEETING:

The main elements of the “Liberalised and Accelerated Phase 3 Strategy of the National Covid-19 Vaccination program” that would come in effect from May 1 are as follows:

  1. Vaccine manufacturers would supply 50% of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to Government of India and would be free to supply the remaining 50% doses to State Governments and in the open market.
  2. Manufacturers would transparently make an advance declaration of the price for 50% supply that would be available to State Governments and in open market, before May 1. Based on this price, State governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments etc would be able to procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers. Private Hospitals would have to procure their supplies of COVID-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50% supply earmarked for other than Government of India channel. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. All vaccination would be part of the National Vaccination Programme, and mandated to follow all protocol such as being captured on CoWIN platform, linked to AEFI reporting and all other prescribed norms. Stocks and price per vaccination applicable in all vaccination centres will also have to be reported real-time.
  5. The division of vaccine supply 50% to Govt. of India and 50% to other than Govt. of India channel would be applicable uniformly across for all vaccines manufactured in the country. However Government of India will allow the imported fully ready to use vaccines to be entirely utilized in the other than Govt. of India channel.
  6. Govt. of India, from its share, will allocate vaccines to States/UTs based on the criteria of extent of infection (number of active Covid cases) & performance (speed of administration). Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in this criteria and will affect the criteria negatively. Based on the above criteria, State-wise quota would be decided and communicated to the States adequately in advance.
  7. Second dose of all existing priority groups i.e. HCWs, FLWs and population above 45 years, wherever it has become due, would be given priority, for which a specific and focused strategy would be communicated to all stakeholders.
  8. This policy would come into effect from May 1 and will be reviewed from time to time.

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