The Delhi government today said it could vaccinate the whole of the city if it could get vaccine from the Centre, but the decision whether to give it to everyone belongs to the Centre. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain made it clear that the state disagreed with the Centre, whose health secretary said yesterday that the government had never talked of giving the vaccine to the entire country.
"We feel that if vaccine is successful, we should administer it to everyone... It is the Center's decision whether to give vaccine to everyone," Mr Jain said today as the UK cleared the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech and said it would start vaccination next week.
"If the Central government gives the vaccine to Delhi when it is available, then within three or four weeks, we would inoculate the entire population of Delhi," he added.
Yesterday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in response to a question, said, "The government has never spoken about vaccinating the entire country".
The idea, he said, is to inoculate a critical mass of people which is expected to break the chain of transmission of the disease. The Centre has already indicated a priority list for vaccination, which includes around 1 crore healthcare professionals, police and armed forces personnel, people aged above 50 years in age and those below 50 with co-morbidities.
The question of whether those who contracted Covid and developed antibiodies should get the vaccine, remains open, Mr Bhushan had added.
The Centre is already making preparations for distribution of the Covid vaccine as and when it comes.
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the three key facilities that are working on a vaccine. The visit was meant to help him get a "first-hand perspective of the preparations, challenges and roadmap in India's endeavour to vaccinate its citizens", the Prime Minister's office said.