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AAP government will provide COVID-19 vaccine free to Delhi people if Centre fails to do so, say CM Arvind Kejriwal

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New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday (January 13) said that the AAP government will provide coronavirus vaccine free to the people of Delhi if the Central government fails to do so. Arvind Kejriwal told reporters that he has already appealed to the Centre for ensuring free vaccination in the country since there are many people who may not afford the life-saving shot.

The Delhi CM said, “We will see what the Centre does. If need be and the Centre does not provide the vaccine free of cost, we will make it available free of cost for the people of Delhi.” 

He further said, “I understand that the Centre and our scientists have brought the vaccine following all the protocols and safeguards. So, there should not be any doubt and people should come forward for vaccination.” 

The Chief Minister said the coronavirus vaccine will be given first to healthcare and frontline workers, and he expressed hope it will provide relief to the people from the virus and the pain they suffered over the last one year.

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The first batch of Covishield vaccine containing 2.64 lakh doses reached Delhi’s central storage facility at Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital (RGSSH) on Tuesday amid high security. The vaccination drive will begin in Delhi from Saturday at 89 centres. 

Special Commissioner of Police (Operations and Licensing) Muktesh Chander told PTI that the security force ensured smooth transportation of vaccines from the airport to RGSSH where adequate police arrangements have been made. “When the vaccines will be distributed, we will ensure adequate security arrangements. They will be escorted smoothly and necessary security arrangements will be made at the 89 vaccination centres in Delhi,” Chander said.

From RGSSH, the vaccine will be transported in a special vehicle under heavy security to the vaccination centres. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Sadarjung Hospital, LNJP Hospital, GTB Hospital, Apollo Hospitals and Max Hospital will be among the vaccination centres in the national capital.

Notably, a SpiceJet flight carrying the vials landed at the Delhi airport around 10 am on Tuesday, four days ahead of the launch of a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination roll-out exercise. 

Meanwhile, the Serum Institute of India (SII) has dispatched over 90 per cent of the COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, order by the Government of India. Official sources confirmed to ANI that about 10.99 million doses have been already dispatched from SII facility in Pune and only around 90,000 doses are left to be dispatched.

Sources have also confirmed that the remaining volume of the vaccines will be dispatched either on Wednesday or Thursday from the SII facility. The Government of India had placed an order for 11 million doses from the SII earlier at a price of Rs 200 per dose (only for first 11 million doses).

Dispatch of the vaccines started on Tuesday from the SII facility in Pune and was taken to almost 13 locations with nine different flights from Pune International Airport.

(With Agency Inputs)

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