Centre creating 'artificial scarcity' to favour SII, Bharat Biotech, says AAP
- AAP spokesperson Atishi claimed that neither Bharat Biotech nor SII possesses the capacity to mass manufacture the required number of vaccine doses to inoculate the entire population of the country.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hit out at the Centre on Friday accusing it of creating an artificial scarcity of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) to favour the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech, a charge denied by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). AAP’s spokesperson Atishi said at a press briefing that due to the “artificial scarcity” of vaccines, states have been left with no option but to rely on these two domestic manufacturers.
"The Centre created such an artificial scarcity that states have to buy from them only. The Centre should respond to this," she said.
Atishi said the World Health Organization (WHO) and many countries in the world approved the vaccines produced by Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson by December 2020 but the Centre dragged its feet in issuing emergency authorisation to them. “Why were these three vaccines not given emergency authorisation? If WHO can approve them, why can't India? This clearly shows that the Centre has created this artificial scarcity to favour Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech," she said.
"Many vaccines are being approved across the world. Pfizer vaccine has been approved in 85 countries, Moderna vaccine has been approved in 46 countries and J&J is approved in 41 countries,” she stated.
The AAP spokesperson also claimed that neither Bharat Biotech nor SII possesses the capacity to mass manufacture the required number of vaccine doses to inoculate the entire population of the country. “The central government has to answer why in the midst of a pandemic they are indulging in a vaccination scam,” she said before concluding the press briefing.
The BJP’s Delhi unit spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor reacted against the AAP’s claims. Kapoor told news agency PTI that neither Bharat Biotech nor SII has anything to gain from a scarcity of vaccines since a scarcity would entail the entry of foreign manufacturers.