Enable more firms to produce Covid-19 vaccines, Kejriwal urges Centre

Chief minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal said there was a need to allow firms other than the SII and Bharat Biotech to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal addressed the people of Delhi through a virtual conference on Tuesday.(ANI)
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal addressed the people of Delhi through a virtual conference on Tuesday.(ANI)
Published on May 11, 2021 12:33 PM IST
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Written by Prashasti Singh | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the Centre should divide the responsibility of producing vaccine for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) between more firms in order to meet the high demand. Currently, the two vaccine makers in India are Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), which manufactures Covishield and Bharat Biotech, which produces indigenously developed Covaxin.

Kejriwal said that the national capital was going to ramp up its inoculation drive and will soon need more jabs as it plans to vaccinate over three lakh people daily.

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"Right now, we're administering 1.25 lakh doses every day. We'll soon begin vaccinating over three lakh people daily. We aim to vaccinate all residents of Delhi within the next three months. However, we're facing vaccine shortage. We're left with stock that will last only a few days," Delhi CM said.

"Only two companies are producing vaccines. They produce only 6-7 crore vaccines a month. This way, it'll take us over two years to vaccinate everyone. Many waves would have come by then. It is important to increase the vaccine production on a war footing and frame a national plan to vaccinate all," he said.

Urging the Centre to intervene, the CM suggested that the formula to make vaccine doses should be shared with other firms capable of producing vaccines in a safe manner. The current vaccine manufacturers can be provided royalty for use of their formula by other companies, he added.

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"Several companies should be deployed to produce vaccines, not just two. Centre should collect the formula to produce vaccines from these two companies and give them to all those that can produce vaccines safely. Centre has the power to do this in these difficult times," Kejriwal said.

Delhi on Monday recorded 12,651 fresh Covid-19 cases and 319 new deaths, taking the total infection tally and toll to 13,362,18 and 19,663 respectively. According to the state health bulletin, as many as 66,234 tests were conducted in the Capital in 24 hours and 1,764 people were inoculated. With this, the total number of people vaccinated in Delhi till now went up to 38,774,00.

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