Centre made a joke of vaccination; all sites for 18-44 age group closed in Delhi: Manish Sisodia

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Updated: May 24, 2021 2:50 PM

Manish Sisodia urged the Centre to take the vaccine issue seriously and procure the foreign vaccines on war footing leaving behind Centre-state politics.

Manish Sisodia Delhi Vaccine ShortageManish Sisodia said that all 400 vaccination sites for the 18-44 age group have been closed in Delhi due to the unavailability of vaccines.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia today lashed out at the Centre, accusing it of turning the vaccination drive into a joke in the country. He said that the Centre asks state governments to directly purchase from the vaccine manufacturers but when the state governments approach global vaccine companies, they claim they are talking to the Government of India. “Foreign companies’ vaccines are proving very successful in many countries. Many countries are inoculating their people by ordering these vaccines. The Centre is not approving those vaccines. When we ask the Centre to procure vaccines from these firms, they ask us to directly purchase from them. When states approach the foreign firms, they inform that they will not talk to state governments as they are being contacted by the Government of India. The Centre has made a joke of the vaccination,” he said during a virtual press briefing. He appealed to the Centre to immediately approve the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Sisodia said that all 400 vaccination sites for the 18-44 age group have been closed in Delhi due to the unavailability of vaccines. He added that Covaxin centres for 45-plus people have been shut too and only Covishield centres are currently running.

He said that the Delhi government has spoken to Moderna and Pfizer for vaccines and the companies have refused to sell directly to the states, a claim also echoed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

He also questioned the government over its hesitation in approving foreign vaccines in India. “Why are we being forced to depend on vaccines made in the country and that too by only two companies. The Centre is even exporting those vaccines even when they are not available in the country,” he said.

He said India delayed approval to Sputnik as well while 68 countries are using the Russian vaccines. He claimed that the Centre has not even approved Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines while many other countries have approved these vaccines and are using them.

Sisodia urged the Centre to take the vaccine issue seriously and procure the foreign vaccines on war footing leaving behind Centre-state politics.

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