April 16, 2021

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Indian states call for vaccine age restriction to be lowered as cases surge

2 min read
A BMC medical staff member administers a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Urban Health Training Centre on April 3 in Mumbai, India.
A BMC medical staff member administers a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Urban Health Training Centre on April 3 in Mumbai, India. Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

India’s Maharashtra state and the union territory of Delhi have asked the central government to lower the age limit of those eligible to take the Covid-19 vaccine amid a rise in new cases.

“If the central government allows us to vaccinate people on a mass level then we can create thousands of facilities in schools, community centers and start a war of a vaccination drive,” Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, said Monday. 

Since April 1, the Indian government has provided Covid-19 vaccinations to anyone age 45 and over. 

In Maharashtra, where weekend lockdowns and night curfews have been put in place until the end of April to curb the spread of the virus, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reiterated the request to lower the age threshold.

“If a larger number of our young and working population is vaccinated, the intensity of the cases would be much lower than the treatment that they need today,” Thackeray said in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, asking for the eligibility to be lowered to all above the age of 25. 

Maharashtra state accounts for more than half of the new Covid-19 cases in the country. 

India is facing a second wave of coronavirus, with more than 100,000 infections reported on Monday, its highest single-day rise since the beginning of the pandemic. 

On Tuesday, India reported 96,982 cases, taking the total to 12,686,049, including 165,547 deaths, according to the Indian Ministry of Health. 

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