India begins vaccinating population over 45 years of age

New Delhi, Apr 1 (UNI): India on Thursday embarked on its third vaccination drive that will cover population above 45 years of age, irrespective of comorbidities, against the coronavirus disease.

“People who are eligible will be able to register, and book appointments, on the Co-Win portal and through the Aarogya Setu app from April 1, when the facility will be thrown open for the 45-plus category also. It will be a massive number, and we urge eligible beneficiaries to come forward and get vaccinated. Safety and efficacy of both the vaccines approved for use in India has been well established,” said a senior health ministry official in the know of things, who did not wish to be identified.

It will cover the population which is at the highest risk — 90 per cent of deaths related to the disease in India have been in the category of those above the age of 45. The Centre has instructed states to ensure all districts with high caseloads achieve 100 per cent vaccination coverage in the next two weeks.

Walk-in registrations will also open after 1500 hrs.

Earlier, Covid-19 vaccinations in the country were open for beneficiaries 45 years and above with 20 government-specified comorbidities, along with individuals aged 60 years and above, and healthcare and frontline workers.

India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive began on January 16 with priority being given the the healthcare and frontline workers, followed by the second drive from March 1 that was extended to senior citizens and people aged 45 and over with co-morbidities.

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