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Bharat Biotech says can’t provide additional Covaxin doses for Delhi: Sisodia

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Bharat Biotech has refused to supply the required doses of its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin to Delhi, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed on Wednesday.

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Addressing a press conference, Sisodia said that Delhi had asked for total 1.34 crore doses of two Covid vaccines – 67 lakhs each of Covaxin and Covishield. However, Bharat Biotech informed the Delhi government of its inability to supply the said doses as it is “making dispatches as per directives of concerned government officials”.

“Once again I would say exporting 6.6 crore doses was biggest mistake. We are forced to shut down 100 Covaxin-vaccination sites in 17 schools due to no supply,” he wrote.

Mr Sisodia said the Delhi government had asked for 1.34 vaccine doses to vaccinate those between 18 and 44 – equal doses of Covaxin and Serum Institute of India’s Covishield.

“Covaxin has written clearly in a letter to us that they cannot give us vaccines because they are not available. They say they cannot give us more than the official authority, that is the Centre, has said. Covaxin supply to Delhi has stopped and they have clearly said that they will give vaccines according to the central government’s guidelines,” he said.

“They say that the Centre will decide who will get how much vaccine”.

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Bharat Biotech co-founder Suchitra Ella tweeted a counter. “Covaxin dispatched 10/5/21.18 states have been covered though in smaller shipments. Quite disheartening to the teams to hear some states complaining about our intentions. 50 of our employees are off work due to Covid, yet we continue to work under pandemic lockdowns 24×7 for you,” Dr Ella posted.

Mr Sisodia also said the Centre must immediately stop exporting vaccines. “Like Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal suggested, since both companies have limited production capacity, the formula should be taken from them and given to other companies who can make vaccines and there should be mass production,” he said.

The Deputy Chief Minister also said it was the central government’s responsibility to procure vaccines from the international market and deliver it to states.

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“Stopping exports, procuring vaccines should be the centre’s responsibility and vaccinating people at the earliest should be the state’s responsibility,” Mr Sisodia said.

Several states have had to pause or delay the latest phase of vaccinations, covering adults below 45, because of the shortage of vaccines.

Beginning May 1, the centre’s new policy says vaccine makers can sell half their doses directly to states and private hospitals at higher rates. The rest will continue to be supplied to the centre for free vaccinations of those above 45, health workers and frontline workers.

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