Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Atishi Marlena has informed that Delhi on Monday received nearly 1.5 lakh doses of Covishield for the 45 plus age group and that Covaxin’s stock for this category is about to finish. She said that a total of 68,946 doses were administered in the city on Saturday and Sunday.
“We have received 45,94,250 doses for this category, out of which, 43,79,070 have been utilised, so nearly 2,15,000 doses were left with us. We have received an installment having nearly 1.5 lakh doses of Covishield for the 45+ segment,” Marlena said while issuing the vaccination bulletin.
“The 22nd and 23rd of May combined (Saturday and Sunday), 68,946 vaccines were administered. Out of this, nearly 49,163 people got their first dose and 19,783 were inoculated with their second dose,” the AAP leader said. “So far, more than 50,80,000 doses have been administered to the people in the city.”
For those above 45 and healthcare/frontline workers, Covaxin’s stock finished after Monday and Covishield’s stock is remaining for 14 days. Earlier on Sunday, most of the government hospitals, schools, and dispensaries were closed for vaccination, but some private hospitals continued to immunise people.
With Covaxin’s stock nearly over, she said it is a matter of “huge concern as those who were jabbed with the first dose of Covaxin a month back, are nearing the time for their second dose”.
“This can pose a serious problem for us because if the second dose is not injected on time, the first dose can be considered a waste.
It is a humble appeal to the Centre to make sufficient doses available for Delhi as many of the people who were given their first dose are waiting to get the second dose now,” she said, adding that the efficacy of the vaccine remains only when the second dose is inoculated on time.
Immunisation programme ‘absolutely ended’ for 18-44 group
While urging the Centre to supply Covaxin at the earliest for the 45 plus age group, she mentioned that the immunisation programme has “absolutely ended” for the 18-44 age group. A few government schools having some stock left were inoculating on Monday, but from Tuesday no vaccination would be done for this category.
“Neither Covaxin, nor Covishield’s stock is left with us. The young lot has been affected a lot by COVID-19 in the second wave. It is imperative to inoculate the youth. This is the same youth which has to now step out of their respective homes to earn for their families, post the lifting of the lockdown,” Atishi added.
The central government has not made any stock available for the vaccine yet. Delhi received 8,17,690 doses for the 18-44 age group earlier in May, and the commitment for next month by the Centre is half of this, which is about 4,01,000, she said.
Flagging the “unreasonably high rates” at which private hospitals are administering vaccines, she said, “For one dose, one has to spend at least Rs 1,000 per dose, and if the family is of five people, a person will have to spend Rs 10,000 on vaccination only. How many families can afford to get vaccinated by spending Rs 10,000?”
“At this point in time, there is no option for the youth but to vaccinate themselves at such high prices from private. Now, the big question is how is it that private hospitals have vaccines and state governments don’t?” Atishi said.
It has been clearly stated by vaccine manufacturers that the schedule will be designated and given by the Centre only, she said.
“How is it justified for the Centre to give vaccines to private but not to the state government? Why are these hospitals being allowed to sell at such high rates, is the big question here,” she said.
Atishi also questioned the Union government over not giving approval to Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, which have been approved by many countries.
“Sputnik has been inoculated ever since August last year, and until February 2021, 68 countries had approved the vaccine. India however, refused to approve the vaccine in February. Why was this done? The approval was made only in April, when we lost the valuable time of three months,” she said.
Pfizer has been approved by 85 countries all over the world, with emergency authorisation, while Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have been approved by 46 and 51 countries, respectively.
“When the biggest of nations can approve these vaccines, why not India? Why are only vaccines by SII and Bharat Biotech approved by the Centre?” she asked.
Earlier on Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had also questioned the government over not giving approval to Pfizer and Moderna. He said Pfizer and Moderna were approached by the Delhi government, but they said they will only talk to the Centre regarding procurement of vaccines.
With PTI Inputs