New Delhi: Delhi government on Tuesday said that in order to meet the Covid-19 vaccine availability in the national capital, it will float global tender for coronavirus vaccine.

Delhi joined Odisha and Telangana governments who have also announced earlier that they would be buying Covid-19 vaccines from other countries.

Addressing a press conference, he alleged that the BJP-ruled Centre was “forcing” state governments to invite global tenders for vaccine procurement.

The Central government wants the states to compete and fight with each other in the international market for vaccines, Sisodia alleged.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia told news agency ANI, “BJP says that Delhi Govt should have floated an international tender to buy vaccines from the international market. Does this mean that all State govts should go to international markets to buy vaccines? Then, what is the role of Government of India?”

Sisodia also demanded the Centre to launch a nationwide COVID vaccination drive on the line of pulse polio campaign.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over vaccine shortage, saying the Centre should share the vaccine formula of the two manufacturers with other capable pharmaceutical companies to scale up production in the country.

AAP leader Atishi had also said Monday the Delhi government will have to close vaccination centres where Covaxin is being administered to beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group after Tuesday evening if its stocks are not replenished.

Earlier today, the Centre reviewed the progress of Covid-19 vaccination drive with States and Union Territories.

During the meeting, the Union health ministry directed states to ensure all beneficiaries who have taken the first dose are prioritised for the second doses. “The urgent need to address the large number of beneficiaries waiting for second dose was stressed,” said an official statement.

In this regard, states can reserve at least 70% of the Vaccines supplied to them from Government of India channel (free of cost) for second dose vaccination and remaining 30% for first dose, it said. “This however is indicative. States have the liberty to enhance this to as much as 100%. State-wise numbers on Cowin have been shared with states for their planning purposes,” the statement added.

The ministry also said that the next allocation for the period 15-31 May will be conveyed to them on 14th May.

Meanwhile, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has increased to 17.27 crore.

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