Arvind Kejriwal urges Centre to share COVID-19 vaccine formula with other companies to scale up production

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday urged the Centre to share the COVID-19 vaccine formula of the two manufacturers with other companies in the country to scale up production.

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 there is a shortage of vaccines across the country and an urgent need to ramp up its manufacturing on a war footing while developing a national policy to inoculate everyone in the next few months.

"Only 2 companies are producing vaccines. They produce only 6-7 crore vaccines a month. This way, it'll take over 2 years to vaccinate everyone. Many waves would've come by then. Important to increase vaccine production on war footing and frame national plan to vaccinate all," the Delhi Chief Minister said.

"Not just 2, several companies should be deployed to produce vaccines. Centre should collect the formula to produce vaccines from these 2 companies & give it to all those companies that can produce vaccine safely. Centre has the power to do this in these difficult times," he added.

Arvind Kejriwal said his government hoped to vaccine all Delhi residents within three months, but needed an uninterrupted supply of vaccines to achieve that goal.

"Right now, we're administering 1.25 lakh doses every day. We'll soon begin vaccinating over 3 lakh people every day. We aim to vaccinate all residents of Delhi within next 3 months. But we're facing vaccine shortage. We're left with stock that will last only a few days," he said.

Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that Delhi should prepare for the third wave of COVID-19 and exuded confidence that given the scale at which the city is creating infrastructure, it will be able to handle even 30,000 cases a day. He said he hoped that the peak of the second wave of the pandemic in Delhi has passed. However, no concessions can be allowed just yet.

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.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)

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