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Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi Attacks Centre On Vaccines, Gets Response From Union Minister

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India began the rollout for coronavirus vaccines on January 16.

New Delhi:

The government’s push to export coronavirus vaccines worldwide was today questioned by Rajya Sabha MP and Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi in a tweet as she asked: “Shouldn’t Indians have equal access for vaccines manufactured in India?”. Shortly after, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, responding to her tweet, pointed out the “poor administration of vaccines” in Maharashtra, which has logged over 23.4 lakh of India’s 1.14 crore cases since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

India aims to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people by July. So far, 3.5 doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered. 

The Twitter exchange – between Mr Javadekar and Ms Chaturvedi – took place hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Chief Ministers today amid fresh spike in Covid cases. India recorded 29,000 fresh coronavirus infections – highest daily spike in three months – the government data this morning showed. Maharashtra alone accounts for 61.8 per cent of new cases with 17,864 infections.

“Maharashtra Government had only used 23 lakh vaccines out of the total 54 lakh vaccines sent to the state, till 12th March. 56% vaccines remained unused. Now, Shiv Sena MP asks for more vaccines for the state. First mismanagement of pandemic now poor administration of vaccines (sic),” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted.

He was replying to Ms Chaturvedi’s attack on the government. “Vaccines exported under our Vaccine Maitri initiative: 5.8 crore doses. Vaccines administered in India : 3.5 crores. Shouldn’t Indians have equal access for vaccines manufactured in India? No sorry, strict GoI regulation applicable,” read the tweet by the 41-year-old leader of the ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. 

Yesterday, the government had assured that vaccine supplies abroad will continue, and it will not affect the domestic requirements. 

“Immunization programme is being implemented in India, as in other countries, in a phased manner to cover the healthcare providers, frontline workers and the most vulnerable. Keeping in view the domestic requirements of the phased rollout, India will continue to supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner,” Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare) Ashwini Kumar Choubey said in Rajya Sabha. 

“It will be ensured that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad,” he added. 





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