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Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan writes 11 CM non-BJP to Press Center about jabs | India News


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan wrote on Monday to 11 CM from non-BJP-governed states seeking a joint effort to pressure the Center to procure Covid-19 vaccines and guarantee free universal vaccination.
“I wrote to 11 CM in the spirit of cooperative federalism. It is a pity that the Center is absolved of its duty to acquire vaccines and to guarantee free universal vaccination. The joint effort to jointly pursue our genuine demand is the need of the moment, for the Center to act immediately, ”Vijayan tweeted.
In its letter, the CM said that statements that the responsibility for providing the vaccine falls entirely within the purview of the states challenge the very foundation of the cooperative federal system. “The Center should purchase the vaccine that the states need and distribute it at no cost. This will also be more cost-effective,” Vijayan said.
He said that vaccine manufacturing companies are seeking financial gain by exploiting the supply shortage situation and foreign pharmaceutical companies are not willing to reach an agreement with the states for the acquisition of vaccines. Noting that India has public sector pharmaceutical companies that are capable of taking over vaccine production, the CM said the government should take the necessary steps to ensure that intellectual property rights and patent laws and conventions do not get in the way. the path of the manufacture of the Covid-19 vaccine. which should have the status of a public good.
“The Union government should explore options such as compulsory licensing,” he said. Vijayan said that if the burden of vaccine procurement is left entirely or even substantially on the states, their fiscal situation will be in dire straits.
“The fiscal strength of the states is an essential part of a healthy federal structure. If the finances of the states are paralyzed, federalism itself will weaken and this does not bode well for a democratic politics like ours. In addition, this will hamper efforts for the early construction of herd immunity, ”he said.
Vijayan said herd immunity will be effective only when a substantial part of the population is vaccinated.
To date, only 3.1 percent of people have been given two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, he said.
Attacking the Center’s alleged position that states should resort to their own measures to procure the Covid-19 vaccine, the CM said: “Right now, when the nation is going through the second surge, it is quite regrettable that there appears to be an attempt of the Center to refrain from its inescapable obligation to provide an adequate supply to the states “.

Times of India