Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday, May 24, said that the US pharmaceutical firms, Pfizer and Moderna, have refused to sell vaccines to the states, reported The Indian Express. The firms specified that they will deal only with the Centre
This comes at a time when several states have imposed a lockdown to contain the spread of the virus and are being forced to extend the restrictions to tackle the outbreak. These states have also flagged a shortage in vaccine supplies leading them to halt the vaccination drive.
After the Centre's communique urging states to procure vaccines, global tenders have been floated by them to get access to vaccines. However, Kejriwal stated that with the recent developments where the Union government is in talks with the companies for vaccine procurement, the states have been left in the lurch.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that they are unable to get vaccines from the international market. Meanwhile, the vaccine supply from the manufacturers in India is being regulated by the union government.
He also raised concerns about the country's vaccine clearance policy particularly at a time when the second wave is wreaking havoc and experts are flagging a possibility of a third wave hitting the country.
"America gave approval to Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson in December last year. The Centre has not given approval to any of these yet. Other countries have not only given approval but are also using them. What is the compulsion in India? We are dependent on two companies, and even they are exporting doses," Sisodia said, reported the newspaper.
He also reiterated that while other countries were actively supporting manufacturers by sharing the risk, closely monitoring the development of vaccines globally, and placing advance orders, India did not take any such measures to secure procurement of life-saving vaccines for its citizens.
Kejriwal's statement comes a day after the Punjab government stated that Moderna had refused to sell vaccines to the state directly.
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