India is facing the second wave of COVID-19. Every day, lakhs of cases are being reported and thousands of people are losing their lives in the battle against the virus. With this being the case, there has been an overwhelming demand to increase the vaccination drive and extend it to people of younger ages.
The demand has arisen also because the majority of the recently reported cases of the new strain of coronavirus are falling within the age group which isn’t permitted to get the vaccine, i.e. below the age of 45.
Today, to solve this problem, the government announced the third phase of the vaccination drive. This third phase would be extended to people above the age of 18. The youngsters of India will be eligible to take their doses of the vaccine from 1st May 2021.
Previous Stages of Vaccination
The government had approved the use of vaccines in India in the early days of January 2021. The government had first permitted the use of the vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, followed by the vaccine produced by Bharat Biotech.
The government had planned to roll out the vaccination in phases, which it has been doing. The first phase of vaccination was limited to front-line workers and their immediate family members.
The front-line COVID-19 warriors are those who are working in hospitals and providing COVID-19 related services.
The second phase of vaccination was later announced which allowed people above the age of 60 years to get the vaccine. Additionally, people above the age of 45 with comorbidity were allowed to avail the benefit of vaccination programs on the presentation of a certification.
In the third phase of vaccination, the government has opened the vaccination program for members of the youth, who account for the majority of the Indian population. People above the age of 18 will be able to avail the benefits of vaccination.
However, the current rate of vaccination has been slow. According to reports, India will not be able to reach its target of vaccinating 70 percent of its population by the end of the year at the present pace.
India’s youth will require huge numbers of vaccine vials, as about 35% Indian population falls within the age bracket of 18 years to 45 years of age.
The extension of vaccination drive to the youth might pose a challenge to the government and the suppliers, but is a welcomed move in the eyes of the public.
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