“Vaccination for 18-44 year olds must be stopped in Delhi from today,” says Kejriwal; asks the government to increase production
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday urged the Center to increase the Covid-19 vaccine quota for the national capital as it faces a huge shooting crisis. Reiterating his call, he urged the Center to import Covid-19 vaccines nationally instead of leaving it up to states to launch global tenders. The chief minister made four appeals to the Center to increase vaccine availability in the country as he reported a vaccine crisis in Delhi.
The chief minister spoke of stopping the vaccination process for people aged 18 to 44 to signal the shortage of vaccines in Delhi. He said the vaccine stock for the category has been consumed due to the closure of their centers.
Kejriwal added that Delhi needs 80 doses of lakh vaccine per month, however, “we only received 16 doses of lakh vaccine for May.” He also said that the vaccine quota for the national capital was further reduced as he said citing a letter from the central government that only 8 lakh vaccine doses will be provided for June.
“We have administered 50 lakh vaccine doses so far and to vaccinate all adults in Delhi, around 2.5 crore more doses are needed,” Kejriwal said, adding that if this pace continues it may take be more than 30 months old to vaccinate adults against the virus.
Stressing the need for vaccines, he said vaccination is the main tool needed to fight the coming second and third wave of the deadly virus.
To speed up vaccine production and availability in the country, Delhi’s chief minister first recommended Bharat Biotech, the maker of the Indian vaccine Covaxin, to share its formula with other companies. Second, he suggested that the government order all vaccine companies to step up production of war vaccines within the next 24 hours. Third, he urged the government to approve all international vaccines without delay within the next 24 hours. He also suggested that the government grant permission to international vaccine manufacturers to produce vaccines in the country.
In addition, he reiterated his concern and urged the government to import vaccines nationally and not let states compete for vaccines in the international market. Kejriwal said competition between states for vaccines can hurt the country’s global image. He also said the government would also be able to speak with international governments and directly order wholesale vaccines through the companies that will facilitate the inoculation process in India.
India has so far administered more than 19.33 crore of vaccine doses in more than 2.7 million sessions across the country, according to the health ministry.