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Centre’s Letters On Delhi Vaccine Quota Counter “Liberal Policy” Claim

States have repeatedly complained that makes an attempt to acquire vaccines straight have been largely futile

New Delhi:

Documents that present the Centre has fastened particular quotas for the way a lot vaccine the Delhi authorities can straight buy from producers seem to contradict the liberalised vaccination coverage that got here into impact on May 1.

In the coverage, introduced on April 21, the Centre modified its current tips; from being the only procurer of vaccines, it allowed state governments and personal hospitals to straight purchase as much as 50 per cent of the inventory of vaccine makers Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech.

Despite widespread criticism, the Centre defended the brand new coverage, claiming it’s in response to states demanding better freedom in with the ability to entry vaccines. But paperwork accessed by NDTV seem like at odds with that declare.

In letters despatched to the Delhi authorities by the Union Health Ministry on May 17, the Centre continues to carefully ration the quantity that the state can straight procure from vaccine makers.

NDTV reviewed two letters despatched by Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary, Union Health Ministry, to the Vikram Dev Dutt Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Delhi Government, for Covishield and for Covaxin.

In the letters, the Centre says three lakh doses of Covishield and 92,000 doses of Covaxin can be found to the Delhi authorities for direct procurement for the month of June.

The letters additionally point out the variety of doses that will likely be supplied to Delhi beneath the Centre’s free provide scheme for vaccinating these above 45.

The letters solely deepen the confusion across the liberalised coverage, which has plunged the vaccine drive into additional turmoil.

States have repeatedly complained that makes an attempt to acquire vaccines straight have been largely futile, with vaccine makers expressing incapability to satisfy their orders.

On April 26, Delhi introduced that it had positioned orders for 67 lakh doses of Covaxin and Covishield, but it surely has since been receiving solely small portions of the vaccines, forcing scale-backs and even the shutting of vaccination centres.

To the letter from Delhi Government, Bharat Biotech responded, “We are making dispatches as per the directives of the concerned government officials.”

The Centre’s rationing of direct procurement has additionally emerged in its affidavits in courts. In an affidavit earlier than the Kerala High Court on Monday, the Centre mentioned: “The doses available under direct procurement by state was worked out on a pro-rata basis on the state-wise population of 18-44 years of population group.”

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