Kerala CM writes to PM Modi, says Centre should float global tender to procure COVID-19 vaccines

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (File Photo)
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (File Photo)

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], May 24 (ANI): As some vaccine makers have said that they will deal only with Central governments regarding the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday wrote a letter to Prime Minister 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.

In the letter, Vijayan said that universal vaccination drive is the only way to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus disease in the long run.

The Chief Minister also said that the vaccine prices would increase if states decide to procure individually via global tenders.

"Based on the circumstances narrated above, I request 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. This will help in reducing the prices. We also reiterate the request that vaccines may be provided free to all states as it should be treated as a public good from which none should be excluded," he wrote in the letter.

While it is appreciable that Kerala has taken substantial initiatives in this regard, he said there cannot be a long 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.

According to the Union Health Ministry, Kerala has 2,77,973 active COVID-19 cases. The total number of recoveries has reached 20,62,635 and fatalities have mounted to 7,358. (ANI)