Out of Covaxin, Delhi Govt Urges Serum Institute to 'Come to Rescue' , Provide Covishield
New Delhi: After Bharat Biotech said it cannot supply more doses of Covaxin to Delhi, the city government wrote to the Serum Institute of India (SII) asking it to "come to its rescue", saying it has limited stock of Covishield for 18 to 44 years which will finish in one week.
To this, the SII said they are doing their best to meet countrywide vaccine requirements, official sources said.
In a letter to the SII, Director of Family Welfare, Delhi Government, Dr Monika Rana said: "We rely on your support for provision of sufficient quantities of vaccine in a time-bound manner."
"Delhi has a limited stock of Covishield for 18 to 44 years which will finish in one week and vaccination centres will have to be closed due to non-availability of vaccines," she said.
"In order to prevent this, you are requested to come to our rescue and provide for more vaccine immediately," the letter read.
Delhi is facing an unprecedented crisis and timely vaccination of all the eligible beneficiaries will help control the pandemic, Dr Rana said.
As per official sources, in reply to her letter, Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Serum Institute of India said, "We fully understand your concern and assure you once again of our best efforts to meet the Delhi and countrywide vaccine requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic."
"Under the leadership of our CEO, Adar C Poonawalla, the company has been working tirelessly to produce Covishield and is committed to further ramping up the production to its maximum rated capacity in coming two-three months to meet the COVID-19 vaccine needs of our country," Singh said in his letter.
"We are working to our best possible potential 24X7 to fulfil the Government of India, state governments, Union territories and private hospitals' vaccine requirements countrywide and are following Government of India's directions in this regard," he said.
On Tuesday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over vaccine shortage, saying the Centre should share the vaccine formula of the two manufacturers with other capable pharmaceutical companies to scale up production in the country.
On Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Covaxin maker Bharat Biotech has refused to provide "additional" vaccine doses to the Delhi government, a development that is likely to severely hamper the inoculation drive for people in the 18-44 age group.
The Delhi government had ordered 67 lakh doses each of Covishield and Covaxin on April 26, the deputy chief minister had said.
Centres Administering Covaxin Shut: Atishi
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi said Delhi received 2.67 lakh more doses of Covishield vaccine on May 11, but it has completely run out of Covaxin.
All centres administering Covaxin will be shut after Wednesday evening, she had said.
On Thursday, Atishi said Delhi is left with just two-three days' stock of coronavirus vaccines for those above 45, and key workers.
For the 18-44 age group, the capital has eight days of Covishield doses available, she said.
"Delhi currently has three days of Covaxin and two days of Covishield stock for those above 45, and healthcare and frontline workers. We request the government to make more doses available for this category," she said.
Delhi has so far got 43.20 lakh doses for 45-plus, and healthcare and frontline workers, of which 40.29 lakh have been utilised, Atishi said.
The city has received 8.17 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines for the 18-44 category. Of this, 4.27 lakh have been utilised. The remaining doses, primarily Covishield, can last up to eight days, she said.
The city has already run out of Covaxin stock for 18+ category. Therefore, most of the centres administering the Bharat Biotech vaccine have been temporarily shut till further orders.
The AAP leader said 74,448 people were vaccinated in Delhi on Wednesday.
“Dispensaries conduct routine immunisation of children on Wednesdays and Fridays. So, there were fewer vaccination centres on May 12,” she said.
A total of 41.64 lakh doses have been administered to beneficiaries across all categories in Delhi since the inoculation drive started on January 16, according to the bulletin.
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