Govt’s claim of no vaccine shortage is hollow: Chidambaram


Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Saturday alleged that the government’s claim that there is no shortage of vaccines is hollow and untrue and the government should start preparing to meet the demand.

In a statement, the former Finance Minister said, “the first and foremost requirement is the availability of vaccines. There are widespread complaints about the lack of supply of vaccines. The government’s claim that there is no shortage of vaccines is hollow and untrue.”

He said, the government should start preparing for May 1 when it intends to start vaccination for all above 18.

“When the surge in demand happens on May 1 and more people flock to hospitals for vaccination, will there be adequate stocks of vaccines all over the country? If people are turned away at hospitals, there will be great resentment and protests,” he said.

The time to plan for May 1 started many weeks ago. Is the government prepared for May 1? Chidambaram asked.

“I am sceptical. Nevertheless, I urge the government to start preparing NOW in order to meet the much greater demand for vaccines on and after May 1,” he added.

However, he said that the Congress had welcomed the decision to vaccinate all above the age of 18 years. However, we have to caution the government that this decision brings huge responsibilities.

The former Finance Minister on Friday attacked the government saying, “why did the government not take the steps it is taking since yesterday? Is this not gross and callous negligence? Will no one be held accountable?”

He had said, people crying for admission of patients in hospitals, people pleading with doctors to examine the patient, people carrying an oxygen cylinder on their back while bringing the patient, hospitals rushing to High Courts seeking Oxygen supply, “if any one including the Health Minister has any conscience, he should resign forthwith”, he had demanded.