While many of the states facing shortage of Covid-19 vaccine, the respective governments have urged the Centre to spike the supply of vaccines. Now, Kerala Chief Minister Pinararyi Vijayan has written to Prime Minster Narendra Modi saying that the Central government should float a global tender to procure COVID-19 vaccines and provide them to all states free of cost.
The CM in his letter wrote, "We are facing the severe impact of the second wave of Cavid-19 pandemic. To combat the same, we have been resorting to various types of restrictions. But all of us would agree that in the long run, the best way to resist the pandemic is building of herd immunity. In order to achieve this, we need have a universal vaccination drive.
He further said that it is appreciable that we have taken substantial Initiatives in this regard but there cannot be a longer wait for universal vaccination. "The foremost impediment we face in this regard is the scarce supply of vaccine vis-a-vis the vast demand for it," he added.
Based on the circumstances narrated the CM requested that the Union Government may kindly take the lead in assessing the vaccine demand of each state and float a global tender taking into account the cumulative need.
"We also reiterate the request that vaccine may be provided free to all states as it should be treated as a public good from which none should be excluded and I request your kind intervention in this regard," he added.
Meanwhile, today, US-based vaccine manufacturing company Pfizer said it will sell its COVID-19 vaccines only to Central governments and supranational organisations for deployment in national immunization programs.
"Allocation of doses and implementation plan within a country is a decision for local governments based on relevant health authority guidance," the company said. "Pfizer’s discussions with the Government of India are ongoing and we are hopeful to bring the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in the country," it added.
This comes after the company refused to sell its COVID-19 vaccines directly to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government. Not only Pfizer, but also Moderna has refused to sell directly.