Vaccine for all those above 45 years from April 1

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday decided to open the vaccination drive for everyone above the age of 45 years starting from April 1. Union minister Prakash Javadekar announced that there will be no need for medical certificates supporting co-morbidity conditions, as the government had stipulated earlier for the second phase of vaccination.

The Government is ramping up the nationwide inoculation drive at a time Covid cases have surged in many states. At present, only citizens who are above 60 and those over 45 with other illnesses are allowed to get vaccination. 4.85 crore people have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine and 80 lakh have received the second dose. On the centre’s letter to states yesterday to increase the gap between two doses of Serum Institute of India’s Covishield – developed by Oxford-Astrazeneca – doctors would prescribe the right time for the second dose. India has seen a spike in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks, with the daily rise staying above 30,000 since March 18. The number of cases with the UK, South Africa and Brazil variants of the Covid virus across the country is 795.

Though new coronavirus infections dropped by 13 per cent, the active caseload has recorded an increase for the 13th day in a row, according to the Union health ministry. Vaccinations rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers and February 2 onwards, frontline workers were also declared eligible.