Delhi will receive 5.5 lakh COVID-19 jabs for the 18-44 age group from the Centre next month, but not before June 10, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Saturday, as he accused the central government of "sitting on" the vaccine distribution system.
Sisodia also alleged "mismanagement" by the central government and sought to know how private hospitals were getting vaccines while states were being told that there are no stocks.
As against a requirement of 1.84 crore doses to vaccinate 92 lakh people in the 18-44 age group in Delhi, Centre provided 4.5 lakh doses in April and 3.67 lakh doses in May, he said.
"The Centre has informed us that a limited stock of 5.5 lakh doses will be provided in June, but not before June 10," Sisodia said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Claiming that inoculation centres for the 18-44 age group are shutting down due to lack of vaccines, he said the Centre should share the data on doses provided to the states and the private sector.
The deputy CM added that he had raised the demand of zero GST on COVID-19 vaccines, oxygen cylinders, concentrators, ventilators and other equipment used in the treatment of the viral disease during Friday's GST Council meeting.
The proposal fell through because of opposition from finance ministers of BJP-ruled states, Sisodia claimed.