New Delhi: With the total number of Covid-19 cases rising at a record pace in India, the government has allowed everyone above the age of 18 years to be eligible to get vaccinated from May 1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting with vaccine manufacturers today, news agency PTI reported.

As per the report, the meeting is scheduled to be held through video conference at 6 pm. The scheduled meeting with vaccine manufacturers will follow discussions held by the prime minister with the country’s top doctors and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry on Monday.

Representatives of top drugmakers from India and abroad, including the companies whose vaccines have already been approved by the Government of India are expected to join the meeting.

Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V approved in India

So far, two vaccines — Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine COVISHIELD manufactured by Serum Institute in India and indigenously developed COVAXIN by Bharat Biotech — are being administered in India, while a third vaccine Sputnik V — developed in Russia and to be imported and sold in India by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories — has also been approved by the Indian drug regulator.

Other vaccines expected soon in India

Other vaccines available globally and expected soon in India include those made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

The Covid-19 situation in India continues to deteriorate amid the second wave of coronavirus infections. For the past three days, the country has been reporting in excess of two lakh coronavirus infections and over 1000 related deaths on a daily basis.

On Monday, the government announced that everyone above the age of 18 will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the vaccination drive beginning May 1.

Several important decisions were taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding pricing, procurement, eligibility and administration of vaccines being made flexible in Phase 3 of the world’s largest vaccination drive.

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