The Government of India has decided to open up Covid-19 vaccination for all above the age of 18 from May 1 in view of a gigantic increase in the incidence of fresh infections in the second wave, with reports of various new strains including an Indian double-mutant.
The government had regulated vaccination only for those above 45 years of age and those above 45 with co-morbidities. India saw the progressive increase of new cases of 2.73 lakh today.
The government statement said the Phase 3 vaccination will be far more liberalized and accelerated to contain the spike.
Vaccination for Covid-19 began in January this year in India. The country had okayed two vaccines, Covishield of AstraZeneca made by Serum Institute and Covaxin made by Bharat Biotech. With increasing pressure on the supply of vaccines, the government has cleared approvals of other vaccine candidates without a bridging study that had delayed the availability of, say the vaccines of Pfizer, Moderna et al.
India reported 2,73,810 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. The highest one-day surge so far took India’s Covid caseload past the 1.5 crore mark. With 1,619 Covid deaths in the last 24 hours, the overall death tally of the country has reached 1.78 lakh.