Delhi likely to get Sputnik shots only after June 20, says Kejriwal
The Capital is likely to receive its first consignment of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines after June 20, said chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday, even as the Capital’s government-run vaccination centres for the 18-45 age group continue to remain shut after having run out of the two India-made vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, the doses of which will only be available by June 10, according to health officials.
“Sputnik will probably offer vaccines only after June 20. They (Indian manufacturer of Sputnik) will start vaccine production in August. As of now, Sputnik V vaccines are being imported to our country. A portion of these imported vaccines will also be allotted to the Delhi government,” Kejriwal told reporters after opening a vaccine centre for journalists and their families at ITO.
The chief minister reiterated that the central government should procure vaccines through a single global tender and distribute them to states. “It has become apparent that states are not able to procure vaccines on their own and the Centre has to do it. States should be held responsible if and when they are not able to make proper arrangements to administer the vaccines after the Centre has procured, produced and supplied vaccines to us,” Kejriwal said.
The government vaccination centres for those between the ages of 18 and 45 years have been closed for over a week after Delhi ran out of its allocated vaccine doses for the month. Next month, the city will receive even fewer doses. Only 550,000 vaccine doses will be available in June as compared to over 817,000 doses that it got in the month of May.
“In Delhi, government vaccination centres have been completely closed for the 18-plus age group for more than a week. Only private hospitals are vaccinating the young, but at expensive rates. We urge the central government to make available vaccines for the youth soon because the lockdown in Delhi will slowly be eased and youngsters will move out of homes once the process begins,” said AAP MLA Atishi.
Although vaccine doses were available with only three major hospital chains in Delhi – Max, Fortis, and Apollo – at the beginning of the month, at least 14 others have started inoculating people between the ages of 18 and 45 years.
The vaccine doses have been procured by individual hospitals. Of the 14 hospitals, with several branches and sites, Covaxin is being administered at five and Covishield at the rest, according to Co-WIN portal.