Starting from April 1, those who are above 45 years of age will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, announced Union Minister Prakash Javadekar. Prakash Javadekar in a press conference on Tuesday said that the government has decided that from April 1, the vaccine will open for everybody above 45 years of age.

"We request that all eligible should immediately register and get vaccinated," Javadekar said. As of now, only people above 60 years of age and those in the age group of 45-60 who have co-morbidities were eligible for vaccination.

According to the Centre's estimate, around 27 crore people belong in these categories. Anybody suffering from serious cardiovascular ailments, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, AIDS, and persons with disabilities had been included in the list of people suffering from comorbidities.

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.

The national vaccination drive in India began on January 16, 2021, across 3,006 vaccination centres. Frontline workers including healthcare personnel, sanitation workers, police were among others to be vaccinated in the first phase.

The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 4.72 crores with 19,65,635 doses being given on Monday, the Union Health Ministry said.

Union Health Ministry said that Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu accounted for 80.90% of new cases reported in the last 24 hours. 

COVID-19 doses data till Monday

A total of 4,72,07,134 vaccine doses have been given till 7 pm on Monday, according to a provisional report.

78,30,626 healthcare workers (HCWs) have taken the first dose and 49,30,888 HCWs have taken the second dose.

81,72,121 frontline workers (FLWs) have received the first dose and 27,93,013 FLWs have taken the second dose.

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