‘Artificial’ jab shortage, says AAP on dwindling supply

The Delhi government is running out of vaccines, forcing centers for 18-45 year olds to close. But private centers, which charge ₹ 1,000-1,000 for a dose, have adequate stocks, AAP MP Raghav Chadha said.

Through HT correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

POSTED MAY 29, 2021 4:39 IST

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokespersons Raghav Chadha and Atishi on Friday accused the central government of creating an “artificial shortage” of vaccines in India by favoring the procurement of private sector facilities over state governments. , including Delhi.

Alleging the state was choking state governments from vaccine supplies and diverting stocks to private facilities – which charge doses, unlike public centers, forcing people to pay for vaccines.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor called the allegations “unfounded”.

“The Delhi government is running out of vaccines, forcing centers for 18-45 year olds to be suspended. These centers offered free vaccines. But the private centers, which charge between 1000 and 1,500 for a dose, have adequate stocks. How do they get their supplies? This is because the central government favors the private sector over state governments when it comes to securing vaccine supply. It also appears that doses intended for state governments are being diverted to the private sector, ”AAP spokesman and Rajendra Nagar MP Raghav Chadha said.

Union Health Ministry spokespersons did not respond to requests for comment.

The vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in India follows two paths: the Center offers free doses for people aged 45 and over; then there is acquisition by state governments and private health care facilities to give doses to any group they choose to serve.

The Union government has made it mandatory for vaccine manufacturers in India to keep 50% of their doses for central supply, while the rest will be split evenly between private buyers and state governments.

The BJP retaliated against the AAP’s allegations.

“The Center has not caused any vaccine shortages,” said BJP spokesperson Kapoor.

“AAP leaders need to know that creating scarcity and embarrassing people is the chief minister’s specialty,” he added.

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