Updated: April 22, 2021 11:27:50 am
Amid the devastating second wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Union government has decided to extend its vaccination drive for everyone above the age of 18. Now dairy giant Amul has featured the move, which is being seen as crucial to reversing the rising tide of Covid-19 infections, in its latest advertisement.
The announcement came at the end of a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the backdrop of a relentless surge in coronavirus cases. The government decided to open up vaccination beyond the current cut-off age and allow manufacturers to release around 50 per cent of doses to the open market. The move will make anyone above 18 eligible to be vaccinated from May 1.
Even as the big policy change in terms of the vaccination programme was received with a huge sigh of relief by the public, Amul put out a cartoon echoing the mood. Using signature wordplay, the advertisement, showing a healthcare professional and a young adult at a vaccination centre, ran with a tagline saying, “No waiteen if you’re eighteen”.
— Amul.coop (@Amul_Coop) April 20, 2021
The diary brand had also featured the vaccination drive in its cartoons earlier when the country rolled out phase 2 of the nationwide inoculation campaign. The second phase covered people over 60 years of age and those above 45 with co-morbidities.
With the latest move, states will have the power to procure additional vaccine doses directly from manufacturers, unlike the present scenario where the Centre has procured all supplies and distributed doses to states for the vaccination drive.
Additionally, private hospitals, too, can procure supplies out of the 50 per cent basket at prices determined by the manufacturers. “Private vaccination providers shall transparently declare their self-set vaccination price,” the Health Ministry said.
The decision comes at a time when there have been calls for a wider vaccination coverage in the wake of a record surge in daily cases. Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, the two vaccine manufacturers, have been unable to cope with the rise in demand for Covishield and Covaxin, and have been seeking additional grants to scale up production.
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