New Delhi:Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s senior leader and MLA Atishi presented the vaccination bulletin through a video address on Monday and stated that No vaccines available for Delhi’s youth, both Covaxin and Covishield ended. Pfizer was approved by 85 countries, Moderna by 46 countries, and Johnson & Johnson by 51; so, what makes the centre not approve any of them to combat the vaccine shortage and inoculate our youth and protect them from the virus? Sputnik was approved by 68 countries until February, in India it was approved only in April by the centre; this means India lost 3 valuable months before the second wave in which people could have been immunised and lives could have been saved. Why is that private hospitals who are inoculating people at a rate of ?850-1250 per dose have enough vaccines, but not the Delhi government, which is immunising people for free?; this is sheer injustice by the centre as the schedule is prepared by them. At ?1000 per dose, a family of 5 would have to spend ?10,000 on vaccines, there are homes in Delhi who have a collective income of ?10,000 a month, how can they afford this? 8,17,690 doses given to us in the month of May by the centre, and allotment for June less than half of this, at 4,01,000. The youth is at high-risk, is anxious, as it knows that after the lifting of lockdown, they will have to travel in public transport to their offices, which makes them highly vulnerable to the virus; hence immunising them indispensable to us. Humble appeal to the centre to supply vaccines at the earliest to Delhi as it has faced the most hardships during the pandemic, especially for the youth. For 45+, healthcare/frontline workers, Covaxin’s nearing its end by today, and Covishield’s stock remaining for 14 days. The 22nd and 23rd of May combined (Saturday and Sunday), 68,946 vaccines were administered.
Atishi said, “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. On Sunday, most of the government hospitals, schools, and dispensaries were closed for vaccination, but some private hospitals continued to immunise people. Hence, the total doses administered has increased to more than 50,80,000 doses. ”
Citing the position of stocks in Delhi, “For those above 45 and healthcare/frontline workers, Covaxin’s stock will end after today, and Covishield’s stock is remaining for 14 days. 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. Today, we have received an installment having nearly 1.5 lakh doses of Covishield for the 45+ segment. This is a huge matter of 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 isn’t 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. The efficacy of the vaccine remains only when the second dose is inoculated on time. Hence, it is a request to the centre to supply Covaxin at the earliest. Now, for youth between the 18-44 age bracket, the immunisation programme has absolutely ended for them. A few government schools having some stock left are inoculating today, but from tomorrow no vaccination will be done for the youth. Neither Covaxin, nor Covishield’s stock is left with us. So, no immunisation is being done by the government as of now for the youth. Delhi has faced a lot of adversities in these past couple of months because of Covid. The young lot has been affected a lot by COVID-19 in the second wave, have either been hospitalised in critical conditions, or have even succumbed to the virus. Those who had gotten their vaccine shots had only mild infections. 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. The population of youth is very vulnerable currently, and is also at high-risk. The centre has not made any stock available for the vaccine yet. We have received 8,17,690 doses for this segment in the month of May, and the commitment for next month by the centre is half of that, which is about 4,01,000 only.”
Atishi presented a series of compelling points, and stated “ Now, if you open the CoWIN platform and register for the vaccine, no free vaccinations by the government is being done. When I myself opened the CoWIN platform, I discovered that private hospitals are giving the vaccines at unreasonably high rates. One hospital is giving Covishield at ?850 and Covaxin at ?1250. Another hospital is giving Covishield at ?900, and Covaxin at ?1250, another hospital is giving Covaxin at ?1350. For one dose, one has to spend at least ?1000 per dose, and if the family is of 5 people, a person will have to spend ?10,000 on vaccination only. Now, you must answer me, how many families can afford to get vaccinated by spending ?10,000. There are so many families who have a collective earning of ?10,000 per month. 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? It has been clearly stated by the vaccine manufacturers that no matter who, state governments or private, the schedule will be designated and given by the centre only. How justified is it by the centre to give vaccines to private but not to the state government? The state government that gave vaccines free of cost to people, whereas the private hospitals which are selling at rates like 800,900,1200, are having sufficient vaccines available? Why are these hospitals being allowed to sell at such high rates, is the big question here. There was a time when SII stated that they were earning profits even at a sale of ?150 per dose of Covishield. Today, the governments too are selling vaccines at the rate of ?400. This is when the centre has allowed the manufacturers to sell 25% of their production to the commercial market at high rates. They are selling to the private hospitals at more than ?600 today.”
Atishi further added, “This seems sheer injustice by the centre, when it allows vaccine manufacturers to sell vaccines to the private which is inoculating people at such high rates, and not supplying the doses to the state government, which is immunising people for free. The government is not supplied with vaccines, and through that, people are not getting vaccines free-of-cost. However, the two manufacturers of the vaccines are selling them to the private hospitals, earning enormous profits. Another question that emerges is, what kind of understanding is there of the central government with just these two companies, that no other vaccine is being approved by the centre, the ones that have been widely approved by all the countries? Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik, these are the vaccines in the global space. Sputnik is being 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 3 months. In these 3 months, if people all over India could have immunised themselves before the second wave, a lot of lives could have been saved. Nearly all countries have approved the vaccines, US approved Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines in December 2020. UK too approved Pfizer in December 2020. Pfizer has been approved by 85 countries all over the world, with emergency authorisation. Moderna has been approved by 46 states. Johnson & Johnson has been approved by 51 states. 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? These are companies which have a huge international manufacturing capacity. It is not like these two companies are able to manufacture vaccines for the entire population of India. The centre must answer all these questions as the youth is anxious today because they know that they won’t be able to get immunised after today. They know that the lockdown is going to lift soon, they will have to travel in public conveyance to their offices, but have not been vaccinated as of yet because of the shortage. The youth wants to know that when the centre will make vaccines available for them, when will Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson be approved by the centre, the ones that have been approved by various countries long back.”