Delhi shuts 400 vaccine centres for 18-44 group as stock dries up
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Pfizer and Moderna have refused to sell coronavirus vaccines directly to the national capital and have said that they will only talk to the Centre
At a time when vaccines are necessary to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, people between 18-44 age groups in Delhi will not be administered vaccines at any government-run centres on Monday as the administration claimed no stock left for youth.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday said Pfizer and Moderna have refused to sell coronavirus vaccines directly to the national capital and have said that they will only talk to the Centre.
In an online briefing, Sisodia said all the 400 vaccination sites for the 18-44 age group have been closed in Delhi after the vaccine stock was over, while the centres administering Covaxin to the 45+ age group, healthcare workers and frontline workers too have been shut due to unavailability of jabs.
Stressing that vaccination is the need of the hour to protect people against the coronavirus, Sisodia said they have spoken to Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson for vaccines.
"Pfizer and Moderna have refused to sell us directly saying they are talking to the Centre. The Centre has not approved Pfizer and Moderna whereas the world over they have been approved and bought by countries," he said.
Sisodia said some countries bought vaccines in advance while these were in trial stage but India did not take any step in that direction.
"We refused approval to Sputnik in 2020 and approved it only last month. or us it's just a game...," he said.
The deputy chief minister urged the Centre to approve Pfizer and Moderna on war footing.
"I urge the Centre not to make this vaccination programme a joke. Approve Pfizer and Moderna on war footing, rather than asking states to approach these companies. It should not happen that by the time we get vaccines, the time comes that even the antibodies of those who have been vaccinated are finished and they will again require vaccination," he said.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also urged the Centre to procure Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and distribute them to states.
On Sunday, a senior Punjab official said the US-based COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Moderna had refused to send vaccines directly to the state government stating that it only deals with the Centre.
Since the first week of May, the Delhi government had set up vaccination centres for 18-44 age groups and around 400 centres were opened at government-run schools across the capital, but they are closed now. However, vaccination drives for 45 and above age groups which were already operational at hospitals and other healthcare centres though have been extended with the idea of 'walk-in vaccination' at government-run schools.
Delhi has been raising alarms time and again regarding shortage of vaccines and knocking every possible door to get jabs for the citizens. Covaxin, which is manufactured by Bharat Biotech, was out of stock for 18-44 age groups for the last two weeks and now Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) too have gone out of stock now.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal repeated word vaccines three times, as SOS call for vaccines for Delhi. "Vaccinate, Vaccinate, Vaccinate," Kejriwal wrote on his Twitter handle in reply to a tweet by Jai Kotak, AVP at Kotak Mahindra Bank on Monday.
As per the Delhi government, a total of 64,240 people were vaccinated on Saturday, of which 44,676 received their first dose and 19,538 their second. Over 50 lakh doses of vaccines were administered in Delhi so far, and 11,51,356 people have been fully vaccinated after receiving both shots.
"No one knows how many more Covid waves will come till then, how many more people will die. I request the Centre to ensure the delivery of the required number of vaccine doses to Delhi," Kejriwal had said on Sunday.
With agencies inputs
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