Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel calls for uniform vaccine rates

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has demanded that COVID-19 vaccines should be supplied to State governments at the same rate offered to the Centre.

He made the demand at an emergency meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, U.P., Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. These States have reported a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Phase-3 of the national vaccine strategy enables vaccine manufacturers to sell half their vaccines to State governments and the open market. The rest will have to be sold to the Centre.

According to sources, Mr. Baghel said that the move was not acceptable. The Modi government, which advocated ‘one-nation, one tax,’ should also follow the same strategy for vaccine prices.

“He also asked the Prime Minister to come up with a vaccine availability action plan from May 1, because as per the third phase strategy, the vaccine will now be available for all above 18,” a senior official of the Chhattisgarh government said.

There is uncertainty on whether with the three approved vaccines — Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V — there will be enough doses for all.

Mr. Baghel also raised the issue of essential drugs and oxygen supply being stalled by States. “The CM said that States with production facilities for essential drugs like Remdesivir to fight the COVID pandemic should not obstruct the supply to other States,” he added.

The Maharashtra government has repeatedly claimed that the supply of Remdesivir was being stalled by Gujarat.

Mr. Baghel has also asked for a detailed meeting of all Chief Ministers to evolve a unified policy to tackle the second wave.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 1:06:13 PM |

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