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COVID vaccines

India expands jabs to include everyone aged 45 and older

Mumbai and Delhi ban public 'festival of colors' celebration as cases rise

Men daubed in colors throw powder at each other during Lathmar Holi celebrations amid the pandemic in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India on March 24.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- As coronavirus cases continue to surge in India, the country is expanding its vaccination drive to include all people over 45 years of age, a group that covers 340 million and that the government says accounts for 88% of COVID-19 deaths.

The move will come into effect from April 1 as part of the world's largest inoculation drive that was launched on Jan. 16 with jabs to health care professionals, police and other front-line workers. The second phase of the program began on March 1 involving all citizens above 60 as well as those older than 45 who had preexisting health problems.

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