Centre is shying away from its responsibility towards vaccine provision: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal CM appeals to PM Modi to provide a fair, transparent and credible vaccination to allow people access to vaccines at affordable prices.

Image Courtesy:indianexpress.com

Dubbing the Centre’s announcement for a “universal vaccine policy” as “hollow, without substance and a regrettable show of evasion of responsibility” Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 20, 2021.

“When the number of cases in the second wave of Covid is spiralling like anything, the Centre has chosen to tactically indulge in empty rhetoric and shy away from its responsibility for making available vaccines to the people,” said Banerjee in the letter.

She condemned the lack of clarity regarding the quality efficacy, stable flow of supply of required vaccines by manufacturers and the price at which vaccines are to be purchased by state governments. Experts like TISS professor R. Ramakumar have also raised concerns about unscrupulous mechanisms in the market, including market-based vaccine prices that will put common people under huge financial burden.

Another concern is that the vaccine supply will become erratic because vaccine manufacturers will not be prepared to increase production capacities as per national demand.

“I would like to mention once again that required vaccines are not presently available in the market and request that steps may immediately be taken to ensure availability of vaccines at the earliest,” said Banerjee.

Earlier, the Chief Minister wrote to Modi on February 24, requesting that state governments be allowed to purchase vaccines directly from state resources and give free vaccines to the people. However, Banerjee said the central government had failed to reply to the request.


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