New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday (May 22) said that the COVID-19 vaccination drive for 18-44 years age group is being closed in the national capital due to lack of doses. 

From Sunday, all vaccination centres for youths in Delhi will be shut as the vaccines for them have been consumed, he said in a press conference.

“Vaccination for the 18+ category halted in Delhi from today. Vaccine stock for this category has been consumed. Due to this, their vaccination centres have been shut. Only a few vaccines are available at some centres which will be administered today,” Kejriwal was quoted as saying by ANI.

Further, he urged Centre to provide more COVID-19 vaccine doses to the national capital so that it can restart the inoculation drive for the 18-44 age group. 

“Delhi requires 80 lakh doses a month to vaccinate its youth. But it only received 16 lakh doses in May. The Centre has further decreased Delhi’s quota in June to 8 lakh doses. The national capital needs 2.5 crore doses to vaccinate all adults,” the Delhi CM said while appealing to the Centre to raise vaccine quota for the city. 

Moreover, the AAP chief also extended four suggestions to the central government to enhance vaccine availability in the country.

“The central government should within 24 hours direct all capable companies in the country to start manufacturing Covaxin as Bharat Biotech has agreed to share its formula.”

He said that the vaccines manufactured abroad should be used in India, while the Centre ought to buy the jabs on the behalf of states.

“Foreign companies should be allowed to manufacture vaccines in India and the Centre should try to get vaccines from such countries that have more doses than what they need,” the Delhi CM was quoted as saying by PTI. 

On Friday, AAP MLA Atishi had informed that in the last week, Delhi shut 235 of the 368 inoculation centres for the youths due to a shortage of vaccines.

“The remaining 133 sites will (also) be shut on Saturday, which means the inoculation drive for this age group will have to be stopped temporarily from Monday,” she added. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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