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Kerala CM writes to PM Modi, seeks free vaccines for states | India News

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Prime Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging that they amend the policy adopted by the Center and provide the full amount of the vaccine at no cost to state governments.
“ Open market distributors may be allowed to have a specific vaccine quota for which an affordable price must be set so that unscrupulous players do not exploit the public, ” the prime minister said in the letter.
According to the new policy of the Center, vaccine manufacturers would provide 50% of the monthly doses issued by the central drug laboratory to the government of India and would be free to supply the remaining 50% of the doses to state governments and in the open market.
The prime minister said state governments already face additional financial commitments due to the consequences of the pandemic. With the economic downturn still lingering, the added burden of purchasing Covid vaccines will put considerable pressure on state finances.
The state government has a constitutional obligation in the health sector and needs a guaranteed share of the Covid-19 vaccine that must be provided free of charge in the pandemic situation. It is imperative that vaccines are provided to states as a public good, at no cost, said Pinarayi Vijayan in the letter to Modi.
Although the policy states that the center will provide vaccines at no cost to state governments of its 50% quota under the criteria, states need to be assured that they will not be allowed to compete with open market players, he said.

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