PM Narendra Modi
PM Narendra Modi
Photo Credit: ANI

With the government opening the COVID-19 vaccination drive to everyone above 18 years of age, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a meeting with vaccine manufacturers via video conferencing. The meeting is scheduled to be held at 6 pm today.

This is PM Modi's third interaction with focus groups, after doctors and pharma companies yesterday.

The Prime Minister has also held a series of meetings with government officials and other stakeholders over the COVID-19 situation and the vaccination drive.

This comes a day after the central government announced that everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1. The central government said on Monday as it liberalised the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.

Under the third phase of the vaccination drive commencing next month, the vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the central government and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market.

Manufacturers would have to make an advance declaration of the price for 50 per cent supply that would be available to the state governments and in the open market before May 1, 2021, an official statement said.

Based on the 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 per cent supply earmarked for entities other than those coming through the central government channel.

The private vaccination providers would need to transparently declare their self-set vaccination price and the eligibility through this channel would be opened up to all adults above the age of 18, the statement added.

Vaccination will continue as before in the government vaccination centres free of cost to the eligible population -- healthcare and frontline workers and all people above 45 years of age.

The Union Health Ministry said the important decision to allow vaccination to everyone above the age of 18 from May 1 was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Prime Minister said that the government has been working hard for over a year to ensure that maximum numbers of Indians are able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible of time. He added that India is vaccinating people at world record pace and we will continue this with even greater momentum," it added.

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