New Delhi: There are about 34 crore people in India above the age of 45 years, the Central government said on Wednesday, a day after it was announced that those above 45 years will be vaccinated against Covid-19 from April 1 onwards, irrespective of comorbidities.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, while vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2.
The next phase of Covid-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specific comorbid conditions. Those over 45 years will be administered the vaccine from April 1 onwards, irrespective of comorbidities, the Central government announced on Tuesday.
“There are about 34 crore people above 45 years of age in the country,” said V.K. Paul, Member, NITI Aayog, on being asked the number of people who will be vaccinated in the next stage.
Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Union Health Ministry, said that those above the age of 45 years form 88 per cent of the total Covid-19 deaths in India.
“Case fatality rate for the age group of 45 years and above is 2.85 per cent. Therefore, this group is the most vulnerable and needs to be protected first. This is the scientific reason why the government took the decision,” he said during the press briefing.
Coronavirus cases have been increasing drastically over the last two weeks. On Wednesday, India reported 47,262 cases, the highest single-day spike since November 11, 2020, pushing the total tally to 1,17,34,058.