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Government of India: All above 18 years eligible for vaccines from May 1 but conditions apply – Mumbai Mirror

Before you jump at the prospect of being under 45 years and eligible to take a vaccine jab, you will have to check with your state government first.

The Government of India has announced a liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of coronavirus vaccination from May 1, 2021. The government stated that citizens above the age of 18 will be eligible for vaccination starting May 1. But the one line that’s important in the government release is this – States empowered to procure additional vaccine doses directly from the manufacturers, as well as open up vaccination to any category of people above the age of 18 for the same – from the same release. This means the Centre has effectively passed on the ball to the states’ court. And before you jump at the prospect of being under 45 years and eligible for a vaccine, you will have to check with your state government first.

In a release, the Central government stated that the vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to Govt of India and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to State Governments and in the open market.

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“The manufacturers would transparently make an advance declaration of the price for 50 per cent supply to State governments and in the open market before May 1, 2021. Based on the price, state governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments etc would be able to procure vaccine doses from manufacturers. Private hospitals would have to procure their supplies for covid 19 vaccines exclusively from the 50 per cent supply earmarked for other than the 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 everyone above the age of 18,” the release read.

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The Govt of India, however, maintained that the vaccination would remain free of cost to eligible population – health care workers, front line workers and people above 45 at the Govt of India vaccination centres. The release further stated that the vaccination process would be part of the National Vaccination Programme and mandated to follow all protocol such as being captured on the CoWin platform, linked to AEFI reporting and all other prescribed norms.

“Govt of India, from its share, will allocate vaccines to States/UTs based on criteria of the extent of infection (number of active COVID cases) and performance (speed of administration). Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in this criteria & will affect criteria negatively,” the statement further read.

The Central Government stressed the importance of ongoing vaccination drive and said, “The second dose of all existing priority groups, whenever it has become due, would be given priority, for which a specific and focused strategy would be communicated to all stakeholders.”

Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray welcomed the move and wrote, “I’m glad and grateful that the GoI has accepted what
@CMOMaharashtra Uddhav Thackeray ji and many other CMs, MPs and States had requested the GoI to consider- lowering the age and covering the younger population in the vaccination drive.” He further wrote, “This will help us prepare better for the 3rd wave better, making it non severe, less infectious hopefully, with lower numbers.”