Uttarakhand govt allows Covid vaccination of all journalists without any age bar

Moderna gets nod to speed up virus vaccine output with bigger vials

The country launched its vaccination drive on January 16, but it was limited to healthcare workers and frontline staff.

India is currently in its third phase of coronavirus vaccination drive with everyone above the age of 45 now eligible for the shots. From those above 60 and those between 45 and 60 with comorbidities to those above 45 without any illness, the vaccination net has been expanding fast, though there is concern of a second COVID-19 wave in several states like Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Strict lockdown measures in England began to be eased on March 29 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to update the country with further details about lifting restrictions on Monday, including whether outdoor hospitality can reopen on April 12 as planned. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter said that registration of candidates over 45 years of age will continue on Co-WIN portal.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long on Thursday asked Japan's embassy for help with technology transfer for vaccine production and testing in Vietnam, the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

He also urged the Centre to increase the supply of COVID-19 vaccines in Delhi and begin the vaccination drive for citizens below the age of 45. This decision was taken as some ineligible candidates were getting their names enlisted for coronavirus vaccination in violation of the rules, it said.

In the letter, Bhushan said that the timeline for completion of vaccination for all in the priority group was fixed at February 25 for HCWs and March 6 for FLWs.

Bhushan said that the matter was discussed with state representatives and domain knowledge experts in a meeting of National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19, where it was decided that no fresh registrations in categories of HCWs and FLWs will be allowed with immediate effect. "However, universal vaccination of already registered HCWs and FLWs should be ensured at the earliest", he added.

The Lombardy region, Italy's biggest, has suffered more COVID-19 infections and deaths than any other but still has had a faltering vaccination campaign, earning a personal visit this week from Italy's new virus czar, Gen. Francesco Figliuolo.