COVID vaccine crisis: Delhi has received over 15 lakh Covaxin doses, says VK Paul
New Delhi, May 13: The Centre on Thursday rejected the Delhi government's claim that Covaxin maker Bharat Biotech has refused to provide it "additional" doses and said the national capital has received over 15 lakh doses of the anti-COVID vaccine.
On Tuesday, Deputy Chief minister Manish Sisodia had alleged the Covaxin manufacturer has in a letter said it cannot provide the Delhi government vaccines due to unavailability, under instruction of government officials concerned.
"It means that the central government is controlling supply of the vaccine," Sisodia, who is a senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, had said.
Addressing a briefing of the Union Health Ministry, Niti Aayog member (health), VK Paul said the government of India's role is to facilitate. "We refute (the charge) that there is any pressure on anybody not to supply to any particular state," he said, adding that such charges affect the morale of vaccine manufacturers.
"It is because of them that we are in the position of not asking others (countries for vaccines)," Paul said. He said Bharat Biotech is also ramping up its capacity and has already roped in three public sector undertakings.
Earlier, Delhi Chief minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the Centre should share the vaccine formula of Covaxin and Covishield with other capable pharmaceutical companies to scale up production in the country.
During the briefing, Paul said that "75,000 Covaxin doses have been given to Delhi in May." "In January-May, 13,91,000 Covaxin doses were received by Delhi. The state has procured 1 lakh doses, while private (institutions) have got 20,000 doses," he said.
According to the vaccine bulletin issued by the Delhi government, the Centre has provided 13,91,000 doses of vaccine to the Delhi government and it has procured 1,50,000 doses from Bharat Biotech.
So far, it has received 43,20,490 doses of Covishield and Covaxin. Following the allegations levelled by the Delhi government, Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal had denied that the Centre had any role to play in the purchase of vaccines by states.