Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday said Pfizer and Moderna have refused to sell coronavirus vaccines directly to the national capital and have said that they will only talk to the Centre. In an online briefing, Sisodia said all the 400 vaccination sites for the 18-44 age group have been closed in Delhi after the vaccine stock was over, while the centres administering Covaxin to the 45+ age group, healthcare workers and frontline workers too have been shut due to unavailability of jabs.
Stressing that vaccination is the need of the hour to protect people against the coronavirus, Sisodia said they have spoken to Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson for vaccines. ”Pfizer and Moderna have refused to sell us directly saying they are talking to the Centre. The Centre has not approved Pfizer and Moderna whereas the world over they have been approved and bought by countries,” he said.
Sisodia said some countries bought vaccines in advance while these were in trial stage but India did not take any step in that direction. ”We refused approval to Sputnik in 2020 and approved it only last month. or us it’s just a game…,” he said.
The deputy chief minister urged the Centre to approve Pfizer and Moderna on war footing. ”I urge the Centre not to make this vaccination programme a joke. Approve Pfizer and Moderna on war footing, rather than asking states to approach these companies. It should not happen that by the time we get vaccines, the time comes that even the antibodies of those who have been vaccinated are finished and they will again require vaccination,” he said. Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also urged the Centre to procure Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and distribute them to states. On Sunday, a senior Punjab official said the US-based COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Moderna had refused to send vaccines directly to the state government stating that it only deals with the Centre.