States fighting over vaccines portrays India in bad light: Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the fact that the states are left to compete and fight with one another in the international market for COVID-19 vaccines portrays a "bad" image of India. "The Centre should procure the vaccines on behalf of the states," he said in the backdrop of a shortage of vaccines in Delhi and many other states.
Here is what Kejriwal tweeted
Indian states left to compete/fight with each other in international market. UP fighting Maha, Maha fighting Orissa, Orissa fighting Delhi. Where is “India”? Portrays such a bad image of India— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 13, 2021
India, as one country, shud procure vaccines on behalf of all Indian states https://t.co/Etby5kenOk
Country holds more bargaining power if Centre negotiates: Kejriwal
In another tweet, Kejriwal said that India approaching vaccine-manufacturing countries will have much more bargaining power rather than states doing it individually. "The Indian government has much more diplomatic space to negotiate with such countries," he added. His deputy Manish Sisodia had earlier said that Delhi will float a global tender for vaccines while accusing the Centre of forcing the states to do so.
Vaccination centers have run out of COVAXIN stocks in Delhi
Around 100 vaccination centers have been closed down in Delhi as they ran out of their COVAXIN stocks. Sisodia alleged on Wednesday that Bharat Biotech, which manufactures COVAXIN, has refused to provide "additional" doses of the vaccine to Delhi under instructions from officials of the Central government. Delhi had reportedly placed orders for 67 lakh doses of Covishield and COVAXIN each on April 26.
Several states have stopped inoculating individuals aged 18-44 years
Several states including Maharashtra have stopped inoculating individuals aged 18-44 years due to vaccine shortage. According to Business Standard, the Karnataka government has decided to stop the vaccination drive for the concerned age group from May 14.
States have reached out to international manufacturers for fast-tracking vaccination
Reportedly, facing an acute shortage of COVID-19 vaccines amid the raging second wave, at least 10 Indian states have decided to reach out to international vaccine manufacturers to fast-track the inoculation drive. On Tuesday, Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Uttarakhand decided to issue global tenders to procure vaccines. Earlier, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Odisha reportedly floated global tenders for vaccines.