Accepting a key demand from several Opposition-ruled states, the central government has lowered the age limit for those eligible to get a Covid vaccine shot. Beginning May 1, all adults (those aged 18 and above) can get themselves vaccinated. That may come for a monetary price as rules regarding pricing and procurement have been made flexible.
Vaccine makers can sell 50 per cent of their supplies to state governments and in the open market at a declared price; the rest 50 per cent of their stocks will go to the central government.
States can buy additional vaccines directly from manufacturers and vaccinate anyone aged above 18. Private hospitals would have to buy vaccines from the supply earmarked for other than the central government quota, and declare the price for a dose that they will set.
There will be no change to the central government’s free vaccination drive for essential and priority groups and those above 45 years.