AAP MLA Atishi on Thursday said the central government is providing Covid vaccines to private hospitals who are charging exorbitant prices from people in the 18-44 age group instead of the Delhi government which is providing the jabs for free, alleging a "collusion" between the two.
It has been 11 days since the city government stopped vaccination for the 18-44 age group due to unavailability of vaccine. The Centre has said it will provide fresh supply for the age group on June 10.
"What kind of collusion is there between private hospitals and the BJP-led central government that they are providing vaccine continuously to the private hospitals, charging anywhere between Rs 850-Rs 1,400 per dose, but not giving it to Delhi which is doing it for absolutely free?" Atishi said.
"This unavailability of vaccines for the youth of the city is a serious issue for Delhi as we have seen how the previous wave of Covid created havoc for the youth," she added.
India began vaccinating people in the 18-44 age bracket in the "liberalised and accelerated" Phase 3 of COVID-19 vaccination from May 1.
Under the third phase, the vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the central government and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market.
According to Atishi, where almost "50 per cent" of the people above 45 years have been vaccinated in Delhi, the percentage in the 18-44 age bracket stands at "10-12" per cent only due to shortage of vaccine.
"Youth is the segment which wants to get vaccinated at the earliest and has no vaccine hesitancy also. This is also the segment which will bring others along with them to get vaccinated. And this is why we request the Centre that instead of the private hospitals they should give the supply to the Delhi government," she urged.
A total of 37,793 people aged above 45 years were vaccinated against the viral disease in the national capital on Wednesday. Of them, 29,735 received the first dose and 8,058 the second dose, the Kalkaji MLA said.
"The dip in the number of people getting vaccinated is because Wednesday is the day marked for routine children immunisation -- and not Covid immunisation -- all government-run dispensaries," she said.
A total of 50,382 people aged above 45 years were vaccinated against COVID-19 in the city on Tuesday.
The Delhi government on Wednesday received additional 2.25 lakh Covishield doses, taking the total available vaccine stock in the city to 6,25,660, including 23,000 doses of Covaxin.
"The present stock of Covishield and Covaxin vaccine available for 45 plus would last for 29 days and 1-2 days, respectively. Covaxin is only given to those who are due for their second dose," she said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)