Vaccination key to controlling Covid-19, but Centre doesn’t seem to care, says Rahul Gandhi
- The Wayanad MP’s words come close on the heels of states like Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi closing vaccination drives for those in the age group of 18-45 years due to the shortage of vaccine doses.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday criticised the government for not “paying necessary attention” to slow pace of the vaccination drive across the country and reiterated that it is the only way the Covid-19 pandemic can be controlled.
“Vaccination is the key to controlling the pandemic but GOI doesn’t seem to care,” tweeted Gandhi on Monday.
The Wayanad MP’s words come close on the heels of states like Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi closing vaccination drives for those in the age group of 18-45 years due to the shortage of vaccine doses. Congress hit out at the Centre on Sunday over its handling of the vaccination drive and asked the Union health ministry to produce district-wise, and not state-wise, data of the jabs being delivered every day, citing the latter as a tactic to hide “alarming facts”.
"The Union health ministry should put out a daily statement on the number of vaccines administered district-wise every day. The number for the whole state hides many alarming facts," Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted.
“Will Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, who had said that there is 'no shortage' (of vaccines), please respond to the facts emerging from Delhi and Telangana?" he added.
The Centre implemented a liberalised pricing and accelerated national Covid-19 vaccination strategy from May 1, where 50% of the required vaccine doses are supplied by the Union government and 50% are to be acquired by the states through direct procurement. To this end the states had started floating global tenders for procurement of vaccines but the US pharma giants Pfizer and Moderna Inc declined to sell directly to the states. The Centre has promised states a total of 5,86,29,000 doses of both Covishield and Covaxin between May 1 and June 15.
The opposition parties have been hitting out at the Centre for shortage of vaccines and its handling of the pandemic in general. News agency Reuters reported on Sunday that the recent government directive on delaying vaccination by 3 months for those who have recuperated from Covid-19 was done to buy some time for ramping up vaccine stocks. Citing Narendra Kumar Arora, head of the government's National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, the report said the vaccination drive was prematurely opened up to all adults without inoculating the most vulnerable groups first. India has so far completely inoculated just 3% of its 1.35 billion people.