On facing a shortage of the COVID-19 vaccines, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has written to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan demanding to 'come up with a centralized vaccine procurement and allocation policy'.
The Dy CM in his two paged letter highlighted the issues too being faced by the government of Delhi due to the rising cases of COVID-19 and the vaccine shortage faced by the national capital.
Mr Sisiodiya wrote that the issue of vaccination has been messed up due to the policy mis-steps and it is high time that we take corrective measures.
"Our Nation is blessed to have several pharmaceutical companies and India can proudly claim to be the pharmacy for the world. Our scientists have successfully developed a vaccine (ie. Covaxin) and the Serum Institute of India had timely tied up for manufacture of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine known as Covishield in India." he added.
He said, "The Government of India controls the production and supply of vaccines by Indian manufacturers and it also controls the supply of vaccines by manufacturers from abroad. It is high time that Government of India comes out with a coherent, transparent and effective vaccination policy for all the citizens of this country including children."
He said, "Delhi, similar to several other States of the country, is in lockdown since April 19. The lockdown time should ideally be utilized to vaccinate maximum number of our citizens. Unfortunately, due to lack of planning and strategy of the Government of India, the states are unable to vaccinate their people in time." "
The Delhi Government has approached various vaccine manufacturers in the world including Pfizer and Moderna. We have been categorically told by all the vaccine manufacturers that they are dealing only at the level of Government of India and not with any State Governments." he added.
The Dy CM ensured that Delhi will pay for the cost of the vaccines needed.
Health experts have been warning that the next wave of Covid is likely to affect the children the most and many countries have already started vaccination at a very high level for the children, he notified.
He also clarified that the Delhi Goverment did not waste any time in placing orders for the locally available vaccines and placed orders for 67 lakh doses of Covishield and 67 lakh doses of Covaxin. "We scaled up the vaccination capabilities to about 5,00,000 people a day. We have earmarked vaccination centers with due provision for holding arca for about 300-500 persons, observation rooms and waiting rooms having proper sitting arrangements providing for social distancing. " he said.
Yesterday, Aam Aadmi Party leader Atishi said that from Tuesday onwards there would be no Covaxin in Delhi available for those who are due to take second dose.