With the COVID-19 curve showing no signs of easing across the country, the Centre on Monday announced that the third phase of the coronavirus vaccination drive will open for all persons above age 18 from 1 May.
The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
During the meeting, Modi said that the government had been working hard for over a year to ensure that maximum numbers of Indians are able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible time. He added that India is vaccinating people at a world record pace and will continue this with even greater momentum.
The government issued a press release stating that the decision was taken as as part of the 'liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination'.
An official statement from the government said that under Phase 3, vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 percent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory released doses to the Government of India.
The manufacturers would also be free to supply the remaining 50 percent doses to state governments and in the open market, said the Centre.
Pricing, procurement, eligibility and administering of vaccines will be flexible in the latest round of the world's largest vaccination drive, the government said.
The Centre also said it will allocate vaccines from its share to states or Union Territories based on the number of cases.
This comes as India's total tally of COVID-19 cases crossed the 1.50-crore mark on Monday, with around 25 lakh cases being added in just 15 days, while active cases surpassed the 19-lakh mark, according to the latest data from the Union Health Ministry.