India plans to widen the Covid-19 vaccination campaign to include more younger people, the Union Health Minister said on Friday, amid the surge in new infection rate.
The world’s biggest vaccine-making nation has held back large exports of the AstraZeneca shot to meet growing domestic demand. But there is no outright ban, a leading newspaper has reported citing government sources.
All above the age of 45 are eligible for vaccination from April 1, the government has said. It is now working to meet demand by many states for the inclusion of all adults after new infections nearly quadrupled this month and are still growing each day in various states and cities.
Health ministry data showed that India reported 59,118 new infections, taking its tally to 11.85 million, for the world’s third-largest, after the United States and Brazil. The death toll rose by 257 to stand at 160,949.
The website Our World in Data showed, India has crossed the data of injecting 55 million doses, the third-highest figure after the United States and Brazil, although much lower as a proportion of its population of 1.35 billion,
After criticism mounted over its vaccine exports, India is diverting more supplies from vaccine maker Serum Institute of India for inoculations at home. Its other vaccine maker, Bharat Biotech, is struggling to boost supply.