DMK chief Stalin urges PM Modi to dispatch 20 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses to TN

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Chennai, Apr 18 (PTI) DMK president M K Stalin on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct officials to send 20 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses 'requisitioned' by the Tamil Nadu government immediately and ensure supplies commensurate with the state's population.

In view of rapid increase in the number of people getting infected by COVID-19, 'universal vaccination' is the need of the hour to protect lives, the DMK chief said in a letter to the Prime Minister and appealed to him to 'take a policy decision swiftly,' over it.

Tamil Nadu would need more vaccine doses than allotted now to accomplish effective vaccinations, break the cycle of infection and flatten the curve, he said.

Now, there was a 'huge shortage of vaccines' across the state and there 'are news reports' to suggest that the people who visit government hospitals for vaccination were returning for want of vaccine availability, Stalin, the leader of opposition claimed.

Stalin requested Modi to intervene and direct the Ministry handling the matter 'to supply more number of Covaxin and Covishield vaccines to Tamil Nadu commensurate with the population of the state besides immediately sending 20 lakh vaccines (doses) as requisitioned by the state government.' The Centre should allow states to independently procure drugs, vaccines and medical equipment as the pandemic affected states could not wait every time for Centre's nod for 'each and everything,' he said.

Tamil Nadu had on Saturday reported 9,344 new COVID-19 cases pushing the caseload to 9,80,728.

Till date, 'only 46.70 lakh people' have been vaccinated out of which, 40.64 lakh were administered the first dose and 6.05 lakh the second dose, he said.

Tamil Nadu Assembly polls were held on April 6 and counting of votes is scheduled for May 2.PTI VGN SS PTI PTI