The Centre on Wednesday said vaccines against the coronavirus can be administered at workplaces that have around 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries, NDTV reported. The announcement came as India’s second wave of coronavirus infections have hit the highest daily count since last year.

The government asked states and Union Territories to initiate consultations with private and public sector employers and management to launch work place vaccination centres from Sunday.

In a letter, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that a substantial population of those above the age of 45 were in the organised sector of the economy and involved in government or private services. “In order to increase the access of the vaccine to these population, Covid-19 vaccination sessions may be organised at work places (both public and private) which are having about 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries by tagging these work places with existing Covid Vaccination Centre (CVC),” it added.

India is currently in its third phase of coronavirus vaccination drive with everyone above the age of 45 now eligible for the shots. The country launched its vaccination drive on January 16, but it was limited to healthcare workers and frontline staff. From March 1, the eligibility criteria was expanded to include people over 60 and those who are between 45 and 59 but have other illnesses. The third phase began on April 1.

India aims to vaccinate 4 crore people by August, but experts say the pace needs to pick up further to meet the target. The third phase is underway amid a 13-fold increase in coronavirus cases in just over two months.

At least six states – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana – are staring at a coronavirus vaccine shortage. Most of these states have already apprised the Centre of the situation.