New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal seldom makes a point. On Wednesday, in one of his more conducive moments, he gave the analogy of a war with Pakistan to drive home the message that states cannot afford to compete among themselves to buy coronavirus vaccines. "Why isn't this country buying vaccines? We can't leave it to individual states. We are at war against COVID-19. If Pakistan attacks India, will the Centre ask states to defend themselves? Will Uttar Pradesh buy its own tanks or Delhi its own guns?" the Chief Minister asked.
"Unlike many other countries, India delayed vaccination by six months. The first vaccine was made by Indians in India. We should have been manufacturing and stocking up since then... if we'd done that, we would have prevented some of the deaths in the second wave," he added. Under the Centre's new "liberalised" vaccination policy states are now required to independently source 50 per cent of their vaccines.
States insist they do not have enough doses to vaccinate both age groups - 18-44 and over-45. The centre insists that they do. This has slowed down the vaccination drive, particularly for the former age group, which the government data says accounts for nearly half of the Covid cases this month.