Kejriwal urges Centre to allow more firms to manufacture vaccines


Amid the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic across India with a continous increase in demand for vaccines, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has requested the Centre to allow more pharmaceutical firms to manufacture vaccines for India.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kejriwal on Tuesday urged the Centre to share Covid vaccine formulas and allow more companies to manufacture vaccine doses.

“At present, there are only two companies — Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech which are developing Covid vaccines. However, India is scrambling to get adequate vaccines. We should not be dependent on just two firms on vaccines as demand has increased at multiple folds in the county,” said Kejriwal.

At present, India has two vaccines and only two companies making them — Covishield (by the Serum Institute) and Covaxin (by Bharat Biotech) and and both have struggled to raise output. A third vaccine — Russia’s Sputnik V — has been cleared but not yet rolled out.

“Only two companies are producing vaccines. They produce only six to seven crore vaccines per month. This way it will take more than two years to vaccinate everyone. Many waves of the pandemic will have passed by then. It is important to increase vaccine production and frame a national plan,” Kejriwal added.

“Several companies should be deployed to produce vaccines. Centre should collect the formula from these two firms and give it to others so they can produce vaccines safely. The Centre has the power to do it in these difficult times,” he stressed. “Every Indian should be vaccinated in the next few months and we are ready to play every role,” the letter added.

At present, Delhi has been administering nearly 1.25 lakh vaccine doses every day which will be increased by three lakh per day in coming days.

“Delhi government will begin vaccinating more than three lakh people every day. We aim to vaccinate all residents within three months but we are facing a shortage, the Chief Minister said.