State govts should be funded for vaccines from central exchequer: CPI(M)

The new COVID-19 vaccine policy announced Tuesday, is once again an effort by the central government to absolve itself from the colossal health crisis that they have created, alleged the Polit Bureau of Communist Party of India (Marxist).

“There is an effort to shift the entire responsibility on to the state governments,” according to the left party.

Under the third phase of the vaccination drive commencing next month, the vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the central government and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market.

Further, vaccines were so far free of cost to the states. Now, states have to ‘procure’ them from the ‘open market’ without any price regulation. The vaccine providers according to this latest policy, will declare their ‘self-set vaccine price’.

“This again, is bound to exclude an overwhelming majority of our people,” CPIM accuses.

Left party also claimed that this policy is bound to breed large-scale black marketeering and hoarding.

“This policy is essentially an effort to liberalise vaccine sales and deregulate prices, without augmenting supply. The centre has failed for a year to do anything to ramp up adequate and needed vaccine supplies. This is a recipe for exclusion of crores of people who will find it unaffordable to procure the life-saving vaccine,” read the statement issued by CPI(M)’s top body.

The left party has demanded that the state governments should be funded for the vaccines from the central exchequer.

It went on to say: “A mass vaccination programme has to be free and universal. This has been independent India’s heritage and practice.”

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) has strongly condemned the “discriminatory, anti-equity and haphazard policy making of the centre aimed at absolving itself from all responsibility.”

“This is not going to mitigate the pandemic or resolve the huge public health emergency that our people face. On the contrary, such a discriminatory policy will only make India more vulnerable to the pandemic surge,” concludes CPI(M)’s statement.