Why Centre not considering universal vaccination, asks NCP's Supriya Sule on rising COVID cases

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New Delhi, Mar 18 (PTI) The NCP's Lok Sabha MP Supriya Sule on Thursday sought to know from the government whether it was considering universal vaccination amid rising COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu continued to register a surge in daily COVID-19 cases. Of the 35,871 new cases registered in a day, 79.54 per cent were from these five states.

'You (Centre) have put out Rs 35,000 crore for vaccination. When we have enough vaccines available in India, why is this drive not full-fledged?,' Sule posed in the Lok Sabha.

Speaking on the supplementary demands for grants, she asserted that universal vaccination was the need of the hour, especially in states like Maharashtra, Karnataka where coronavirus cases were rising. So, why is universal vaccination not being encouraged when Rs 35,000 crore has been budgeted for the COVID vaccine, Sule asked.

Bhartruhati Mahtab of the BJD too said that now was the time to step up COVID vaccination.

The country rolled out its anti-coronavirus vaccination drive on January 16 and over 3.5 crore people have already been immunised.

In the first phase of the vaccination drive, only healthcare workers and frontline workers were allowed to be immunised. In the second phase, which begun on March 1, the government permitted senior citizens and people above 45 years with commodities to be included in the drive. PTI JD NSD NSD