Centre creating 'artificial scarcity' of COVID-19 vaccines: AAP
The AAP on Friday alleged that the Centre is creating artificial scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines to benefit Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India, a charge termed by the Delhi BJP as unfounded. Addressing a press conference, AAP spokesperson Atishi said that the government's vaccine drive has stopped in schools while in private hospitals, vaccination is still going on at different rates.
Currently, three COVID-19 vaccines are available in India
India is currently largely using two made-in-India jabs- Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute and COVAXIN of Bharat Biotech and Russian-made Sputnik V at a smaller scale to inoculate its population. "This is a big racket. At government centers where vaccination was given free to the youth, vaccines are in shortage, while vaccinations are going on at higher prices at hospitals," Atishi alleged.
AAP questioned Centre's reluctance to approve other vaccines
Atishi further questioned the Centre over not giving emergency approval to more vaccines. "Many vaccines are being approved across the world. Pfizer vaccine has been approved in 85 countries, Moderna in 46 countries, and J&J in 41 countries," Atishi said "Then why are these three vaccines not given emergency authorization in India. If WHO can approve them, why can't India?" she alleged.
BJP denied all allegations made by Atishi
The two companies do not have manufacturing capacity but the Centre has not approved more vaccines, Atishi said. "The Centre created such an artificial scarcity that states have to buy from them only. The Centre should respond to this," she said. Delhi BJP Spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said Atishi's allegation is unfounded as scarcity has not been created by the government.
BJP hit back at Kejriwal
SII and Bharat Biotech don't stand to gain because scarcity means the entry of foreign manufacturers. "Creating scarcity and putting general people at discomfort is the specialty of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal," Kapoor claimed. "Kejriwal spoke about the scarcity of hospital beds which forced people to pay hefty fees to private hospitals, oxygen scarcity and we saw oxygen mafia loot," Kapoor claimed.