India To Boost Inoculation In Summer After Free Vaccines Authorized For People Over 18

India to Boost Inoculation in Summer After Free Vaccines Authorized for People Over 18

India's central government plans to speed up COVID-19 vaccination in July and August by offering vaccines free of charge for those aged 18 and over, in compliance with the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah said on Monday

NEW DELHI (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 21st June, 2021) India's central government plans to speed up COVID-19 vaccination in July and August by offering vaccines free of charge for those aged 18 and over, in compliance with the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah said on Monday.

Today India has launched free vaccination campaign for people aged 18 and older. The decision of the prime minister is supposed to contribute to a faster vaccination across the country. Since January, free vaccines have been provided to medical workers, police and emergency service officers, and people over 45. Since May, vaccination has been allowed for those older than 18, but used to be given for a fee at private hospitals.

The initiative to expand free vaccination program has been carefully assessed considering a dense population and a vast territory.

"Central government has decided to speed up vaccination in July and August," Amit Shah told reporters while visiting the vaccination center in Gujarat state of India.

COVID-19 cases in India have been increasing since late February 2021, maximum number of those treated from the disease was over 3,7 million people during the second wave. So far 51 million people have been fully inoculated, which is only 3,7% of the population.

Experts warn about a new outbreak of the disease, which might be sparked by the spread of the Delta variant of the virus and possible loosening of restrictions.