Delays in approval, regulations deny access to Covid vaccines: Congress

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on April 07, 2021

Pawan Khera, Congress spokesman

Ridiculous to debate needs and wants, every Indian deserves the chance to a safe life, says Rahul

Maintaining that every Indian deserves the chance to a safe life, the Congress asked the Centre why it did not plan the nuances of vaccine logistics and supply chain in advance to ensure that there was no shortage of vaccines.

Congress’s former president Rahul Gandhi said it is ridiculous to debate “needs and wants” when it comes to vaccination. “Every Indian deserves the chance to a safe life,” he said.

Party spokesman Pawan Khera told reporters on Wednesday that with a staggering 1.15 lakh new cases being reported, the Centre must answer crucial questions.

“India has surpassed both the USA and Brazil to bag the numero uno position in terms of having the highest new positive cases daily. One in every seven new cases reported across the world is that of an Indian.

Earlier, every 10 infected persons were spreading it to eight others, now it has increased to 14, such is the situation at the moment,” Khera said.

He alleged that there are significant drawbacks in the vaccination protocol.

‘High wastage’

“Currently, the national average of vaccine wastage stands at 6.5 per cent with States such as Telangana and Uttar Pradesh surpassing the national average with the Vaccine Wastage rate of 17.6 per cent and 9.4 per cent, respectively. When translated into numbers, in excess of 23 lakh vaccine doses were wasted as of March 2021,” he claimed and asked the Centre to include respiratory diseases in the approved list of co-morbidities to be eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine. He said the Centre did not plan the nuances of the vaccine logistics and supply chain in advance to ensure that there were no shortages of vaccines.

“There is a dilly-dallying on the vaccine approval and regulatory protocols that has held back many globally accepted and approved safe vaccines from entering the Indian market, this ensures over dependency on limited vaccines therefore, delaying the nationwide vaccination programme,” he said.

‘Shortage of funds’

He asked the Centre to urgently address concerns of private vaccine manufacturers regarding paucity of funds. He asked the Centre to bridge the innovation gap and insistence on local trials in the time of a pandemic, making it even more difficult for various vaccine manufacturers to enter India.

Published on April 07, 2021

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