Accelerate COVID inoculation drive in India before sending vaccines outside: AAP to Centre

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New Delhi, Apr 5 (PTI) The AAP questioned the Centre for sending COVID-19 vaccines across the world instead of further accelerating the inoculation drive within the country, claiming it will take at least 15 years to vaccinate the entire population of India at this rate.

The Delhi BJP, however, replied that the export of COVID-19 vaccine is in no way hindering the process of vaccination in India.

At a press conference here, AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha questioned the reason for 'exporting' vaccines and not supplying them to the people in India first.

'Vaccination doses have been exported to 84 countries. The amount exported is higher than the number of vaccine doses given to the people in India. Should we care about people of our own country or of other nations?' he posed.

'Where has the Centre's vaccine nationalism gone? The AAP demands an increase in the rate of vaccinations against COVID-19 so that each and every Indian can get inoculated,' he said.

The AAP leader further claimed that it will take 15 years to vaccinate the entire population of India if the immunisation drive continues at the current pace.

'Some scientists say that to contain the virus, at least 70 per cent of the population has to be vaccinated. It will take 10 years to inoculate 70 per cent of the population and 15 years for the whole of the country if inoculation continues at the current pace,' he said.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor has said the statement of Raghav Chadha on the country's export of COVID-19 vaccine reflects the 'petty political mindset' with which Aam Aadmi Party functions.

'They are now talking with the same dirty political mindset on a sensitive international issue they have played on internal issues,' he said.

'Just as the government controlled COVID-19 spread by imposing lockdown followed by phased lifting of restrictions, it is now out to vaccinate fellow Indians in phases.

'With all citizens above 45 years eligible for vaccination, almost 50 per cent of the country's population will have been covered within the next one month,' Kapoor said.

The Delhi BJP spokesperson said Chadha should know that the country's COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity far exceeds its own needs and the export is in no way hindering the process of immunisation of countrymen.

In India, cumulatively, 7,91,05,163 vaccine doses have been administered through 12,31,148 sessions, according to a provisional report till 7 am on Monday.

These include 90,09,353 healthcare and 97,37,850 frontline workers who have taken the first dose, and 53,43,493 healthcare and 41,33,961 frontline workers who have taken the second dose. PTI UZM VIT NSD NSD