Kerala CM writes to PM Modi, seeks vaccine free for states | India News – Times of India


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to prime minister Narendra Modi urging to amend the policy adopted by the Centre and provide the entire quantity of the vaccine free of cost to the state governments.
“The open market distributors may be permitted to have a specified quota of vaccine for which affordable price has to be fixed so that unscrupulous players do not exploit the public,’’ said the chief minister in the letter.
As per the new policy of the Centre vaccine manufacturers would supply 50% of their monthly central drugs laboratory released doses to the government of India and would be free to supply the remaining 50% doses to the state governments and in the open market.
The chief minister said the state governments are already facing additional financial commitments from the consequences of the pandemic. As the economic downturn is still persisting, the additional burden of purchasing Covid vaccines will place considerable strain on state finances.
The state government has a constitutional obligation in the health sector and does need an assured quota of Covid-19 vaccine which has to be provided free in the pandemic situation. It is imperative that vaccines are provided to the states as public good, free of cost, said Pinarayi Vijayan in the letter to Modi.
Though the policy states that the centre will provide vaccine free of cost to the state governments from its 50% quota based on criteria, the states need a reassurance that they will not be left to compete with open market players, he said.

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