NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Tuesday requested the Centre to approve international vaccines like Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson&Johnson in order to protect the country against an anticipated third wave of COVID-19.
"We request the Centre to approve Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson&Johnson at the earliest and make it available to the Indian public. The faster India is vaccinated, the sooner it will be safe from Covid," said AAP MLA Atishi, issuing the daily vaccination bulletin.
Referring to the Centre's announcement on Tuesday that the state governments could use surplus vaccine doses in the 45-plus category to vaccinate those in the 18-44 age group, Atishi said it was a request that the Delhi government had repeatedly made in the past.
"The Delhi government has repeatedly asked the Centre if the surplus stock of vaccines for the 45-plus category could be used for the 18-44 category, since the vaccination rate for the 45-plus group has been decreasing.
"The Centre repeatedly refused and kept saying that the states needed to procure the vaccine stock for the 18-44 category from the companies directly," the MLA from Kalkaji said.
"Today, finally the Centre has put out a press release, a day after the universal vaccine campaign started, and clarified that we can use the 45-plus vaccine for the 18-44 category," she added.
According to her, the vaccination rate for the 45 plus category has plateaued after over 50 per cent of the 45 plus population has been vaccinated.
Among those left are people who either have vaccine hesitancy, or those who are not eligible to get vaccinated because they recovered from Covid in less than three months.
"This is the reason that after crossing 50 per cent, the vaccination rate in the 45-plus category has reached a plateau.
"We have been sharing daily in the Delhi govt bulletin that we have more than two months worth of stock for the 45-plus category but the vaccination in this group, despite going door-to-door, has plateaued," Atishi said.
On Monday, 76,062 doses of vaccines were administered and approximately 50,000 of them were given to the youth.
As of Tuesday, Delhi has approximately 8.5 lakh doses of vaccine in the 45-plus category, out of which there is stock worth four and 61 days of Covaxin and Covishield, respectively.
In the 18-44 category, there are about 2,14,000 doses out of which only 27,000 are Covaxin, that is less than a single day's stock, and 1,85,000 doses of Covishield which is expected to last for 12 days, according to the bulletin.