New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: With India continuing to face the issue of shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, the Delhi government on Sunday night directed all private hospitals and nursing homes to administer Bharat Biotech's Covaxin only to those beneficiaries for its second dose in the age group of 18 to 44 years until further orders.

In a statement, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority has asked officials to ensure that the order is followed "in letter and spirit", adding that its violation would lead to action under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Epidemic Act.

"DDMA hereby directs that all private hospitals and nursing homes functioning as COVID Vaccination Centres for Covaxin shall ensure that Covaxin shall be used for vaccination to only those people (of age group 18-44 years) who are eligible for receiving second dose of vaccination during the month of June, 2021 or till further orders," the order read.

This comes after the Delhi High Court directed the Arvind Kejriwal government and the Centre to work out on a strategy to for administering Covaxin as sufficient shots are not available while the listing the matter for next week.

"You are now trying to go into damage control mode by asking private hospitals to administer only the second dose of Covaxin. It is clear you cannot vaccinate all the people," Justice Rekha Palli said, as reported by Bar and Bench.

The Delhi government has repeatedly complained of vaccine shortage in the national capital. Recently, it had also stopped the vaccination drive for people in the age group of 18 to 44 years due to shortage of adequate jabs.

"This is the time to unite and work for both state and Centre, and not work separately. We need to work as Team India. It's the Centre's responsibility to provide vaccine, not states. If we delay it more, don't know how many more lives will be lost," the Delhi Chief Minister had said last week at a press conference.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma