While the state and centre controversy about vaccines continue, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has set noble precedence to providee free vaccines to the people of Kerala.
India is battling its worst COVID-19 crisis and PM Modi’s address to the nation has left many confused about the central govt. strategy for handling the present crisis. PM Modi’s announcement to make vaccines available to everyone above the age of 18 was welcomed by everyone but made everyone wonder where will be vaccine come from as the country is already facing a shortage of vaccines.
In his address, PM Modi also proposed the centre’s new policy on vaccine distribution. As part of the new policy, manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of the ordered doses to the Government of India and 50 per cent to the state governments and the open market. This has drawn severe criticism from many corners as it has put the economic burden of the cost of vaccines on the states instead of the centre.
Pinarayi Vijayan today wrote a letter to PM Modi today and welcomed the Government of India’s move to make vaccines available to everyone above the age of 18. He also sought clarity on the issue of free vaccine and leaving the cost of vaccine to the “open market”.
He had urged PM Modi in his letter to provide vaccine free of cost to the states as states are already reeling under heavy economic burden after the covid 19 pandemic and lockdown.
By evening there was no response from PM Modi or the central government representative. This led to a press meet by Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan where he announced that –
“Vaccines will be provided free of cost for everyone in Kerala. We don’t go back on our words like others.”
Vijayan continued in his address and assured the public that- Free vaccines were promised, Free vaccines will be delivered. We don’t go back in our word. Regardless of the vaccine policy by the Central Government, vaccines will be provided FREE of cost to EVERYONE in Kerala.
He also announced that Kerala will not implement any lockdown at the present juncture. Instead, people are being asked to follow the COVID guidelines strictly.
A joint meeting of all political parties will be convened to discuss the COVID19 situation and a meeting with private hospitals will also be held to discuss & make suggestions on COVID management.
He also informed that there were 22,414 fresh COVID19 infections and 22 deaths reported in the state today. 5,431 people recovered from the disease.