A plan by the federal government is welcomed by the Indian officials and health experts to give free COVID-19 shots to all adults as a step in the right direction on Tuesday but cautioned that vaccinations must be enhanced to prevent new streams in infections and after immense pressure to provide jabs free of cost, whereas Indian experts urge faster vaccinations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated the federal government would take over the immunization Programme from Indian states and offer free doses to everyone over the age of 18.
Modi announced on national television that followed weeks of criticism of a vaccine rollout that has sheltered fewer than 5% of India’s projected adult population of 950 million. This has left the country defenseless to another wave of infections after a surge in April-May which government data showed killed 170,000.
India has been giving an average of 2.4 million shots a day. Health officials say this is far from satisfactory for a country as large as India.
“We need to vaccinate 7-8 million persons per day to meet the target of covering all the eligible persons before the end of December,” Giridhara Babu, a member of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country’s main health research agency, told Private News agency.