The Kerala Assembly unanimously passed a resolution, which was moved by Health Minister Veena George and supported by opposition parties, urging the Centre to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to all states and ensure its easy availability.
"To fight the pandemic we need to provide free universal vaccination which will ensure that all sections of the society are protected from the virus. The Union government can't shirk its responsibility and leave everything to states. It has to ensure vaccination in a time-bound manner," reads the resolution, reported Hindustan Times.
The resolution also said that the most preventive step against the pandemic was universal vaccination, but asking the state government to purchase from the open market is "highly objectionable". The resolution also said that the Centre should float a global tender to procure vaccines for the entire country.
On Tuesday, June 1, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had written to 11 non-BJP chief ministers, urging to push the Centre for ensuring free universal vaccination.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR's) claim of vaccinating everybody by December as a hoax.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, too, had written to Chief Ministers of all states on centralised procurement of vaccines by the Union government. "Many states have floated global tenders… However, it is quite clear that the global vaccine manufacturers are looking forward to the Union Government for the clearances and assurances. They are unwilling to get into supply contracts with the state governments. While the domestic vaccine manufacturers are having supply constraints and are not able to commit required supplies," he said in the letter, reported The Indian Express.
After receiving the letter from Patnaik, Banerjee said, "Not only him, Kerala CM and Delhi CM also contacted me and they said that Central government should procure the vaccine. I have already said that the Centre should not procure it but also distribute the vaccine in the country."
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