PTI, Twitter: @Dr_Aqsa_Shaikh
As the country gears up for the next phase of the vaccination drive against COVID-19 from May 1, a Dr Aqsa Shaikh took to her Twitter handle and shared a reply from the Serum Institute of India regarding supply of vaccines to hospitals. This statement by Dr Aqsa Shaikh comes after she received said reply from Serum Institute of India (SII) regarding the procurement of COVID vaccines by private hospitals, which she has also embedded in her tweet.
Reply from. @SerumInstIndia— Dr. Aqsa Shaikh // اقصٰی شیخ (@Dr_Aqsa_Shaikh) April 28, 2021
Asking Private Hospitals to wait 6 months to get Vaccines for 18+@MoHFW_INDIA @CMODelhi @PMOIndia @LtGovDelhi @drharshvardhan
The New #Vaccine Policy from May 1 is a Failure even before it started.
Is this how we'll tackle the second wave of #Covid? pic.twitter.com/qbEO6S6Ps1
Dr Aqsa Shaikh is a Community Medicine specialist working as an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Medicine at Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Jamia Hamdard. Beyond her criticisms, the response by SII is revealing.
SII in its letter to Dr Sheikh writes, "Due to our current obligation to meet the government's existing requirements and to meet the additional demands emanating from state governments under liberated and accelerated vaccination, it is challenging to meet independently the requirements across from large numbers of private hospitals. Therefore, we urge you to access the private market supply chain channels, which will take about 5-6 months from now. In the meantime, it is suggested to approach the state government for vaccine supplies which was provided earlier for the category of citizens over 45 years of age."
The Centre on April 19 liberalized the third phase of its COVID vaccination drive to include all aged 18 and above. In a bid to meet the need for vaccination, the Centre has asked the vaccine manufacturing companies to scale up their production with the help of International as well as national players and has allowed them to supply 50 per cent of the produced doses to state and private hospitals directly, which means now the States and the private hospitals do not have to go through the entire process, and can directly get it from the manufacturers at the price declared by them. At present, India has two vaccines- Covaxin and Covishield, and will soon have the Sputnik V in the race. Not only this, there are around five more vaccine candidates in the advanced clinical stages of development.
(Image: PTI, Twitter: @Dr_Aqsa_Shaikh)