CPM slams new vaccine policy, says govt trying to ‘absolve itself from colossal health crisis’ | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: CPM on Tuesday slammed the Modi government’s new vaccine policy and said it was nothing but an effort by the government to “absolve itself from the colossal health crisis” it had created.
The party said the government’s decision to make 50% vaccine supply available directly to the open market would shift the burden on state governments and condemned the move as “discriminatory, anti-equity and haphazard”.
“This policy is essentially an effort to liberalise vaccine sales and deregulate prices, without augmenting supply. The Centre has failed for a year to do anything to ramp up adequate and needed vaccine supplies. This is a recipe for exclusion of crores of people who will find it unaffordable to procure the life-saving vaccine,” CPM said in a statement.
The party’s politburo said so far, vaccines were made available to states free of cost, but with the change in policy, they will now need to “procure” them from the open market without price regulation, leading to black marketing and hoarding.
This, CPM said, would allow vaccine makers to declare their “self-set vaccine price” and would exclude an overwhelming majority of India’s people from the vaccination drive, especially the poor.
“This is not going to mitigate the pandemic or resolve the huge public health emergency that our people face. On the contrary, such a discriminatory policy will only make India more vulnerable to the pandemic surge,” the party added.
CPM also demanded that states be funded for the vaccines from the central exchequer so that the vaccination programme remained free and universal, as has been “independent India’s heritage and practice”.

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