The government has decided to allow vaccination against COVID-19 for all those who are 18 years and above from May 1 to expand its drive to fight the pandemic.
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.
“The 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,” the Prime Minister said.
Currently, COVID-19 vaccines can only be administered to those aged 45 and above.
The key highlights of the new vaccination policy are:
- Vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 percent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to Govt of India, and would be free to supply the remaining 50 percent doses to state government and in the open market.
- Manufacturers would transparently make an advance declaration of the price for 50% supply that would be available to State Govts. and in open market, before 1st May 2021. 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 percent supply earmarked for other than Govt of India channel.
- Private vaccination providers shall transparently declare their self-set vaccination price.
- Vaccination shall continue as before in Govt 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 division of vaccine supply 50 percent to Govt of India and 50 percent to other than Govt of India channel would be applicable uniformly across for all vaccines manufactured in the country.
- The government of India will allow the import of fully ready-to-use vaccines to be entirely utilised in the other than Govt of India channel.
- Govt of India, from its share, will allocate vaccines to States/UTs based on the criteria of extent of infection (number of active COVID-19 cases) and performance (speed of administration).
- The 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.