Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has suggested the Centre share the COVID vaccine formula so that more companies can manufacture doses following shortages being reported by the vaccine manufacturers, SII and Bharat Biotech.
A third vaccine, Sputnik V of Russia, has not yet been out in the market. This vaccine is supposed to be produced by five companies.
The pace of country’s vaccination drive kicked off from May 1 for those aged above 18 years is very slow as states and UTs are yet to inoculate those who are awaiting the second dose.
Kejriwal has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with suggestions that supplies can be increased if more firms are allowed to manufacture the vaccines.
“Only two companies are producing vaccines. They produce only six to seven crore a month. This way, it will take over two years to vaccinate everyone… many waves will have come by then. It is important to increase vaccine production and frame a national plan,” Kejriwal said.
The Centre has the powers to make the vaccine formulae available, Kejriwal said, adding “every Indian should be vaccinated in the next few months.”
He said Delhi was administering 1.25 lakh doses every day. “We’ll begin vaccinating over three lakh every day. We aim to vaccinate all residents within three months, but we’re facing shortage,” said the Chief Minister.
While speaking about a decline in COVID cases in the national capital – from around 28,000 in April to 12,600 on May 10, Kejriwal said his government used the lockdown to ramp up health infrastructure.
“The lockdown was successful. We’ve increased the number of oxygen beds in the past few days. Yesterday (May 10), we set up 500 new ICU beds near GTB Hospital,” he said, adding, there is no shortage of ICU and oxygen beds in Delhi. The national capital is under lockdown till May 17.
On Monday (May 10) Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain had said the city had Covaxin stocks for a day and that of Covishield for four days.
The ruling AAP has accused the Centre of cutting short the vaccine supplies and exporting the them at a critical time when the country’s much-hyped inoculation has almost halted.