India opens COVID-19 vaccination for all above 45 years from April 1

India opens COVID-19 vaccination for all above 45 years from April 1
A nurse with the COVID-19 vaccine in IndiaBCCL
  • India has opened up its COVID-19 vaccination drive for all above 45 years of age.
  • Those who are eligible will be able to take the vaccination from April 1, 2021.
  • The move comes as India is seeing a rising number of COVID-19 cases.
India has opened up its COVID-19 vaccination drive for all above 45 years of age. Those who are eligible will be able to take the vaccination from April 1, 2021.

“It has been decided that from 1st April, the vaccine will open for everybody above 45 years of age. We request that all eligible should immediately register and get vaccinated,” said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar in a press briefing, on Tuesday.

The move comes as India is seeing a rising number of COVID-19 cases. For the fourth consecutive day, India has recorded over 40,000 cases per day. India is now the third worst affected country in the world.

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On Monday, the Indian government wrote to states and union territories governments to increase the interval between the two doses of Covishield, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by University of Oxford, AstraZeneca vaccine along with the Serum Institute of India.

The government said that the time duration of 4-8 weeks for the second dose of Covishield was based on the recommendation by National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) & National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC).

However, the government said that protection is enhanced if the second dose is taken between 6-8 weeks.

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“It appears that protection is enhanced if the second dose of Covishield is administered between 6-8 weeks, but not later than a stipulated period of 8 weeks,” said the government.

The revised time duration is applicable only to Covishield and not to Covaxin, the vaccine developed by India’s Bharat Biotech.

As of Monday (March 22), India had administered 47.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

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