Saturday, Oct 01, 2022

Delhi’s vaccination pace worrying, need to run and catch up: Sisodia

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who has been openly critical of the Centre's vaccination policy, said that to offset any potential surge in the coming weeks and months, the city has to vaccinate its people on a war footing.

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia

As Delhi extended its lockdown by another week, keeping its Metro service shut, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the government did not want to lose the gains made during the lockdown.

The city has seen less than 6,500 cases two days in a row now, with the positivity rate dipping to 10.4% on Sunday. A total of 6,456 cases were recorded on Sunday, down from the peak of 28,395 registered on April 20 — the highest daily case count seen in any Indian city till date.

Officials attributed the dip in positivity rate — which had touched 35% earlier this month — to the lockdown that has been on since April 19.

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who has been openly critical of the Centre’s vaccination policy, said that to offset any potential surge in the coming weeks and months, the city has to vaccinate its people on a war footing.

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“The problem with not going for a mass vaccination programme, and at a fast pace, is that too many people are vulnerable — even those who are vaccinated. If you are vaccinated and are working with someone who does not get the vaccine in the next 2-3 months, you are not fully protected either. If you are vaccinated and the virus goes through you to another person, there are chances of it mutating. This is worrisome… we need to run and catch up to defeat this disease. Delhi’s infrastructure is ready; we can vaccinate all citizens within three months but we don’t have the vaccines,” he told The Indian Express.

In Delhi, which has a population of around 2 crore, over 45 lakh people have so far got at least one dose of the vaccine. An average of 1 lakh people are being vaccinated per day. The government, however, had to shut over 100 session sites as it ran out of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin last week.

Sisodia said the Centre’s vaccination programme has been found lacking since the beginning.


“We could have avoided the fiasco of exporting so many vaccines and would have had a proper vaccination roadmap ready. Had we taken the 30-40 manufacturers who have the capability to produce vaccines and the companies that are producing the vaccines at present into confidence from the start, we would have been able to produce doses in huge numbers and would have been in a better position,” he said.

On the lockdown, CM Kejriwal said, “The lockdown has helped improve the recovery rate. Covid cases seem to be declining rapidly. We don’t want to lose the gains made in the past few days and are extending the lockdown for another week. I hope there will be greater recovery in the next week. As far as I can understand, Delhi is slowly coming back on track. The lockdown is to continue as it is and no concessions will be given,” he said.

Kejriwal, meanwhile, said the government has written to the Centre and vaccine manufacturers about the vaccine shortage.


“Regarding Covaxin and Covishield, we have written both to the central government and the two companies to provide us with the vaccine, but there is no indication on when that will happen,” he said.

Delhi had earlier told Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India that it is looking to procure 67 lakh vaccines from each of them. Kejriwal said Saturday that the government has written to Dr Reddy’s for a “similar number” of the Sputnik vaccine as well.

First published on: 16-05-2021 at 10:31:04 pm
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