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COVID-19: Kejriwal writes to Union Health Minister, seeks uniform price for vaccine

Kejriwal also requested the health minister to allow states to develop separate apps or develop mechanisms other than apps to manage vaccinations.

Central government should actively monitor and supervise manufacturing of vaccines by the private parties, Kejriwal said. Central government should actively monitor and supervise manufacturing of vaccines by the private parties, Kejriwal said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan seeking uniform price for COVID-19 vaccines supplied to Centre, state governments and private sector, and permission for states to develop their own app or other mechanisms for carrying out vaccination.

"The inherent fallacy and danger in the current differential pricing mechanism is that there is an obvious incentive for private manufacturers to prioritise supplies to private hospitals over supplies being made to government since under the current mechanism they will earn more from latter," Kejriwal said.

The well accepted and robust system of universal immunization programme as implemented in the past for diseases like polio should be continued and the Centre should make available to the states the requisite number of vaccines to enable vaccination of all citizens, the letter, shared by the Aam Aadmi Party on Twitter, said.

"Central government should actively monitor and supervise the manufacture of vaccines by the private parties so that supplies in adequate quantities are made to all state governments and this crucial aspect is not left to the discretion of the private manufacturers," it added.

It said Delhi has administered 38.97 lakh doses to health workers, frontline workers and those above 45 years of age till May 8, while about 2.99 lakh doses have been adminstered to 18-44 age group. While Delhi government has already placed order with Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech for their COVID-19 vaccines Covishield and Covaxin, respectively, it has also approached Dr Reddy's Laboratories for Sputnik vaccine, Kejriwal said in the letter.

Also read: COVID-19: GST on vaccines in interest of manufacturers and citizens, says FM Sitharaman

Delhi government plans to vaccinate all citizens of Delhi in three months because of the anticipated third wave, but it is neither able to get vaccines as per its requirement nor firm delivery schedules. "I urge you to direct Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech to increase their monthly supplies to Delhi to 60 lakh doses per month during May to July 2021," Kejriwal said.

The national capital is currently vaccinating about 1 lakh people per day and is increasing infrastructure to increase this further to 3 lakh per day.

Kejriwal also said that the efforts by the Centre, states and private sector for ensuring faster vaccination are unable to converge because of the glitches in CoWIN app. "These glitches are leading to most people spending valuable time for getting registered or for booking vaccine appointments. Also, large number of people are not tech savvy to be able to register themselves."

He requested the health minister to allow states to develop separate apps or develop mechanisms other than apps to manage vaccinations.

Also read: India 'squandered' its early successes in tackling COVID-19; PM Modi's actions 'inexcusable': Lancet report