Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday urged the centre to share COVID-19 vaccine formulas and allow more companies to manufacture doses.
Amid the acute shortage of Covid-19 vaccines in the country as the two producers scramble to raise the production, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday urged the centre to share COVID-19 vaccine formulas and allow more companies to manufacture doses.
India currently has only two vaccines against the disease and only two companies making them – Covishield (by the Serum Institute) and Covaxin (by Bharat Biotech). Both the companies have struggled to ramp up the production as the second wave of the pandemic sweeps the country. Russia’s Sputnik V – has been cleared but not yet rolled out; this will be produced by five companies.
The Delhi Chief Minister, who has also written to PM Modi with his suggestions, said supply could be increased if more firms were allowed to make 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,” Mr Kejriwal said.
“… several companies should be deployed to produce vaccines. Centre should collect the formula from these two and give it to the others so they can produce vaccines safely,” he added.
“The centre has the power to do this in these difficult times,” he said, adding that “every Indian should be vaccinated in the next few months and we are ready to play every role”.
“We’re 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,” the Chief Minister said.
The Delhi CM also highlighted the decline in daily new Covid cases in Delhi – from a high of around 28,000 per day late last month- and stressed that he had used the lockdown to scale up infrastructure.
“With your cooperation, the lockdown was successful. We’ve increased the number of oxygen beds in the past few days. Yesterday, we set up 500 new ICU beds near GTB Hospital,” he said, adding, “Now there is no shortage of ICU and oxygen beds in Delhi.”