Don’t queue up outside COVID-19 vaccination centres on May 1, Delhi yet to receive vaccines: Kejriwal

New Delhi, Apr 30 (FN Representative) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday appealed to the 18-44 age group not to queue up outside the COVID-19 vaccination centres in the city on May 1 as the government is yet to receive COVID-19 vaccines and it is in constant touch with the companies. Under phase III of the ongoing Covid vaccination programme beginning from May 1 onwards across the country, all people in the 18-44 age group will be eligible for inoculation. Addressing a digital press conference, the Delhi Chief Minister said, ‘Beginning 1 May, the vaccination drive for those between 18-44 years is set to begin.’

He said the vaccination drive for those aged 45 and above is already in motion. The Delhi Chief Minister said the procedure for those between 18-44 has garnered an overwhelming response and many people have registered for the same. ‘We have not yet received the vaccines, and are in continuous touch with the companies and hope the vaccines will be delivered in a day or two. We’ve been assured of this,’ Mr Kejriwal said. ‘Firstly, three lakh Covishield vaccines are to be delivered by tomorrow or the day after and thereafter more doses will arrive. It is therefore my humble request that you do not queue up at the centres, for this should not lead to a law and order situation or hinder social distancing protocols,’ he said. ‘Once we get the vaccines, we will make an official announcement, following which, only those who are registered and given appointments are to come to the vaccination centres. I request everyone, not to rush. Everyone is to be inoculated and preparations have been made for the same,’ the Delhi Chief Minister said.

The Delhi Chief Minister further said the city government have asked both vaccine companies–Covishield and Covaxin–to provide 67 lakh dose each in three months. He said the Delhi government will pay all its money and the people of the National Capital will be given free vaccine. Mr Kejriwal said, ‘We have two vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin — and both the manufacturers have been urged to render 67 lakh doses each. We have also requested them to provide these 67 lakh doses with each within three months, and the Delhi Government is prepared to bear the financial costs. The people of Delhi will be provided with the vaccines free of cost and we have also demanded a schedule from both the companies specifying the days when they supply the vaccines within these 3 months.’ ‘We are trying our best that within the next 3 months the entire population of Delhi gets vaccinated. We have formulated a plan and even the infrastructure needed for this is in place. Now it will depend on the two companies as to how swiftly they provide us with the vaccine. If they are able to provide sufficient quantities of the vaccine, then we will try to vaccinate the people of Delhi within three months,’ he said.

Mr Kejriwal said, ‘We have observed that those who have been inoculated are comparatively better off than those who haven’t been. It is not that they are prevented from catching COVID, but even if they do, it is not fatal and does not turn into something serious. The vaccine acts as a protective shield. Therefore, I urge everyone to get vaccinated as these are completely safe and entail no danger. Do request everyone around and your relatives to get inoculated.’ He said this vaccination drive will be massive and requested public cooperation. Mr Kejriwal said the Delhi government and the Central government are working hand in hand to make this vaccination drive successful.