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“Pfizer, Moderna won’t sell shots to us. Will deal only with Centre…”: Arvind Kejriwal

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
“Pfizer, Moderna won’t sell shots to us. Will deal only with Centre…”: Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: US based pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Moderna have allegedly refused to sell vaccines directly to Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today, stressing that vaccine manufacturers have made it clear that “they will deal with the central government” only. Vaccine rollout for the 18-44 age group was paused on Saturday in Delhi due to the shortage of doses.

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“We’ve spoken to Pfizer and Moderna for vaccines, and both the manufacturers have refused to sell vaccines directly to us. They have said they will deal with the central government. We appeal to the centre to import vaccines and distribute to the states,” Mr Kejriwal told reporters this afternoon.

His statement comes a day after Punjab said Moderna has refused to sell vaccines to the state directly. The Amarinder Singh government had reached out to all such manufacturers, according to officials, looking for direct purchases.

Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking an increase in the supply of doses. “Every month, Delhi needs 80 lakh doses but it received only 16 lakh doses in May. For June, our share has been reduced further to eight lakh doses,” he said.

In his letter, Mr Kejriwal also gave four suggestions to the Prime Minister on speeding vaccine drive. “The centre should speak to international vaccine manufacturers, buy from them and distribute to states. States and union territories are fighting with each other,” he said.

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International vaccine manufacturers should be given permission to manufacture in India, he added, and he also insisted that the countries that have stocked more vaccines than they need should send excess doses to India.

“All vaccine makers in India, within 24 hours, should be ordered to manufacture Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin to ramp up stocks,” he appealed to the centre.

Lockdown in Delhi was extended for the sixth straight week on Sunday even as the city saw positivity rate dropping to less than 2.5 per cent. The national capital, which witnessed hospitals buckling under the pressure of India’s second Covid wave in the last few weeks, saw 1,649 new cases.

India has so far cleared three vaccines for emergency use: Bharat Biotech’s homegrown Covaxin, Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, developed in partnership with the Oxford University and British pharma giant AstraZeneca, and Russia’s Sputnik V. Several states have announced they would try to buy vaccines directly from international manufacturers.

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