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Kerala CM writes to 11 CMs from non-BJP states to pressure the Center on procurement of Covid-19 vaccines | India News


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Prime Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote on Monday to 11 CMs of 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 procure vaccines and guarantee free universal vaccination. The joint effort to jointly pursue our genuine demand is the need of the moment, therefore that the Center acts immediately, “Vijayan tweeted.
In his letter, the prime minister said that statements that the responsibility for providing vaccines falls entirely within the purview of the states challenge the very foundation of the federal cooperative system.
“The need of the moment is a joint effort on our part to present the genuine demand that the Center should procure the vaccines that the states need and distribute them at no cost. This will also be more profitable,” Vijayan said in the letter.
He said vaccine manufacturing companies are seeking financial gain by taking advantage of supply shortages and foreign pharmaceutical companies are unwilling to reach an agreement with states to purchase vaccines.
Noting that India has public sector pharmaceutical companies that are capable of taking over vaccine production, the CM said that the Government of India should take the necessary steps to ensure that intellectual property rights and patent laws and conventions don’t get in the way of making Covid-19. vaccine, which must 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 will not bode well for a democratic politics like ours. Furthermore, this will hinder efforts for 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 stance that states should resort to their own measures to procure the Covid-19 vaccine, the chief minister said, “Right now, when the nation is going through the second surge, it is quite regrettable that there appears to be a attempt by the Center to exempt itself from its inescapable obligation to provide an adequate supply of vaccines to the states. ”
“The impact of the second wave has been unprecedented, and it has put us all in a state of alarm.”
“In addition, experts have warned that a third increase in the incidence of Covid-19 is very likely to occur. This requires greater preparation and vigilance to face that eventuality as well,” he said.
Along with this letter to his fellow CMs, Vijayan also attached a copy of a letter he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi citing the merits of the Center taking the lead in evaluating the states’ vaccine requirements and launching a global tender considering everyone’s needs. state.

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