NEW DELHI, Apr 30:
Delhi will not join the national level rollout of COVID-19 vaccination for people aged 18-44 years on May 1, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday saying that required vaccine doses have not been received yet for the drive.
He appealed to people in the targeted age group not to line up at vaccination centres in the city on May 1.
In the next one-two days, around three lakh Covishield vaccines will be received and the drive for vaccinating people in the age group 18-44 years will commence, Kejriwal said in an online briefing.
The third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people aged 18 years and above will roll out in the country on May 1. However, some states have said they would be unable to start the drive on day one due to the shortage of vaccines.
Kejriwal said his government has placed orders for supply of 67 lakh doses each of Covishield and Covaxin from manufacturers in three months.
Kejriwal, who had earlier appealed to the manufacturers to bring down prices of their vaccines, said the “Delhi government is prepared to bear the financial costs of the doses it has ordered”.
Delhi government has also demanded a schedule from both the companies, specifying the days when they supply the vaccines within three months’ period.
“We are trying our best that within the next three months the entire population of Delhi gets vaccinated. We have formulated a plan and even the infrastructure needed for this is in place. Now it will depend on the two companies as to how swiftly they provide us with the vaccine.
“We aim to vaccinate everyone in the next three months if a sufficient quantity of vaccines is supplied by the companies,” he said.
The chief minister assured Delhi residents that everyone will be vaccinated, appealing to them not to crowd outside vaccination centres for a few days.
“I appeal to all citizens to not queue up at vaccination centres before our announcement as this might lead to violation of social distancing and create a law and order situation,” Kejriwal said.
The government is in constant touch with the companies. As soon as the vaccine doses are received, Delhi government will make an official announcement for starting vaccination covering those aged 18 years and above, he added.
“We have not yet received the vaccine, and are in constant touch with the companies and hope the vaccines will be delivered in a day or two. We’ve been assured of this.”
The Delhi chief minister assured that everyone is to be inoculated and required infrastructure has been readied for it and appealed for cooperation of the people.
“Delhi government and the Central government are working hand in hand to make this vaccination drive successful,” he said.
Only those who are registered and given appointments will go to the vaccination centres, The chief minister said and added vaccines will be provided free of cost. (PTI)