New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that global COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna Inc have declined his government's request to procure vaccines, saying they will deal only with Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government.

"We've spoken to Pfizer, Moderna for vaccines, and both the companies have refused to sell vaccines directly to us. They have said that they will deal with the Government of India alone. Appeal to the Centre to import vaccines and distribute to the States," Kejriwal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Earlier on Sunday, Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in Punjab also said that Moderna Inc has refused to sell its vaccines to the state, saying it does not deal with any state government or private parties.

COVID-19 vaccination, which was launched on January 16, has been halted for the people in the age group of 18 to 44 years in several states and union territories (UTs) due to shortage of vaccines. Amid this, several states and UTs asked the Centre to allow the import of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to resume the inoculation drive.

Here it is noteworthy to mention that Pfizer was the first manufacturer that had applied for the restricted emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in India. However, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had refused to grant its approval, asking the vaccine manufacturer to provide more information.

Later, Pfizer said that it is in talks with the central government to establish an "expedited approval pathway" to make its vaccine available in India. "Pfizer is aware that access to vaccines is critical to ending this pandemic. Unfortunately, our vaccine is not registered in India although our application was submitted months ago," the company had said in a mail to its India employees.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma