India will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine shots to people above 45 years of age from April 1, reported ANI quoting Union Minister Prakash Javedakar.

“It has been decided that from April 1, the vaccine will open for everybody above 45 years of age. We request that all eligible should immediately register and get vaccinated,” Javedakar said during a press conference on Tuesday. 

“As per the advice by scientists and world scientist bodies, 2nd dose can be administered between 4th and 8th week, particularly for Covishield. We appeal that all above 45 should take the vaccine as early as possible that will provide them shield against corona,” he added.

Earlier in the day, two state governments, Punjab and Rajasthan, urged the Centre to widen the vaccination net to cover those younger than 60 years as, according to them, the mutant strain was infecting more people in the younger age group.  

COVID-19 numbers have been steadily going up in India in the past few weeks with March 22 marking a daily high of 46,951 cases, the highest since November last year.

India on Monday recorded 40,715 coronavirus cases in a day, taking the nationwide infection tally to 1,16,86,796, while the active caseload at 3,45,377 registered an increase for the 13th day in a row, the data released by the Union health ministry said on Tuesday.