'Vaccination for 18-44 age group to be halted in Delhi from today,' says Kejriwal; asks govt to ramp up production
Kejriwal cited the temporary halt in the vaccination of people in the age group of 18-44 years to flag the shortage of shots in Delhi. He said that the vaccine stocks for the category is over due to which their centres have been shut.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday urged the Centre to increase the quota of Covid-19 vaccine for the national capital as it faces a huge crunch of the shots. Reiterating his appeal, he requested the Centre to import Covid-19 vaccines at a national level instead of leaving it to the states to raise global tenders. The chief minister made four appeals to the Centre to boost vaccine availability in the country as he flagged vaccine crunch in Delhi.
The chief minister cited the temporary halt in the vaccination of people in the age group of 18-44 years to flag the shortage of shots in Delhi. He said that the vaccine stocks for the category is over due to which their centres have been shut.
Kejriwal further said that Delhi requires 80 lakh vaccine doses per month. “However, we only received 16 lakh vaccine doses for May." He also said that the quota of vaccines for the national capital has further been reduced, and referred to a letter from the Centre that only 8 lakh vaccine doses will be supplied for June.
"We have administered 50 lakh vaccine doses so far and to vaccinate all the adults in Delhi, around 2.5 crore additional doses are required," Kejriwal said, adding that if this pace continues then it might take more than 30 months to inoculate the adults against the virus.
Emphasising the need for vaccines, he said that immunisation is the major tool required to fight against the second and upcoming third wave of the fatal virus.
To ramp up the production of and availability of vaccines in the country, Delhi chief minister first recommended Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of India's homegrown vaccine Covaxin, to share its formula with other companies.
He also suggested the government ask the vaccine-producing companies to step up their production on war footing in the next 24 hours.
The chief minister urged the government to grant approval to all international vaccines within the next 24 hours without any delay. He also suggested the Centre to grant approval to international vaccine manufacturers to produce vaccines in the country.
Further, he reiterated his concern and urged the government to import vaccines at a national level and not let states compete for vaccines in the international market. Kejriwal said states competing with each other for vaccines can harm the global image of the country.
He also said that the government will also be able to talk with the international governments and can directly bulk order vaccines through the companies which will aid the inoculation process in India.
India has so far administered more than 19.33 crore vaccine doses through over 2.7 million sessions across the country, according to the health ministry.