Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the new policy for distribution of Covid-19 vaccine and provide the entire quantity of vaccine needed free of cost to the State Governments.
The open market distributors may be permitted to have a specified quota of vaccine for which affordalble price has to be fixed so that unscrupulous players do not exploit the public, the Chief Minister said in a letter to the Prime Minister.
The new vaccine policy says vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to Government of India and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to State Governments and in the open market.
The State Governments have been asked to get vaccine from the manufacturers at a price. The State Governments are already facing additional financial commitments from the consequences of the pandemic.
Given the present scenario, the State has to provide vaccine to the public free of cost. As the economic down turn is still persisting, the additional burden of purchasing Covid vaccine will place considerable strain on State finances.
The State Governments have constitutional obligation in the health sector and do need an assured quota of Covid-19 vaccine which has to be provided free in the pandemic situation, the CM said.