Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced that the COVID-19 vaccination drive for youth in the city will be halted due to lack of adequate doses.
Terming it a peculiar situation, Mr. Kejriwal said the drive was being halted for the youth at a time when there was evidence that the second wave of the Coronavirus had affected them the most.
“I’m saddened that it had to come to this; we have written to the Centre about this; as soon as we get the required stock, we will start these again. Delhi needs 80 lakh vaccine doses every month,” Mr. Kejriwal told a digital briefing.
All centres administering doses to citizens in the 18-45 age group would be shut by tomorrow (May 23), he said, adding that Delhi had got 16 lakh doses for the month of May, while for June it was allocated 8 lakh doses by the Centre.
To inoculate its entire adult population, the CM said, Delhi needed 2.50 crore vaccine doses and doing so at the rate of 8 lakh doses per month would stretch the process beyond 30 months.
“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,” he said.
“Bharat Biotech is ready to share its vaccine formula with other companies; the Centre needs to call other companies who manufacture vaccines and order them to manufacture vaccines on a war footing,” Mr. Kejrwal said.
This, according to him, needed to happen in the next 24 hours as time was of the essence, along with granting approval to all foreign vaccines for administering to the population.
He also requested the Centre to consider asking countries which had stocked up on COVID-19 vaccines to share what they could with India and also to talk to foreign governments to pave the way for companies based there to manufacture vaccines in India.