‘Responsibility of purchasing vaccine must be vested with GOI’: Dr Mukul

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 Meghalaya News 24 exclusive 

Calling for a ‘vaccine for all policy,’Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Saturday slammed the BJP-led government at the Centre for allegedly shifting the responsibility of purchasing the COVID-19 vaccines on the state governments.  

 “I (totally) disagree with the Government of India’s stand that the states have to be vested with the responsibility of mobilizing the funds/resources for procurement of the vaccines,” Sangma told Meghalaya News 24 after getting his first dose of vaccination at the Shillong civil hospital here.

 Reminding that the whole COVID-19 pandemic has been notified as a national disaster under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the leader of opposition said, “It must be the responsibility of the Government of India to ensure that vaccines whatever are available are distributed to the states in a manner which has been practiced and followed in the past.”

 He said all along whenever there is a national immunization programme, the Government of India acquired all the vaccination and distributed it to the states and the states assumed upon themselves the process of implementation of vaccinating all concerns.

 “Therefore, the responsibility is vested with the union government in taking measures for prevention because vaccination and all other measures required to have been put in place are the process of prevention which is part and parcel of the whole management plan in dealing with any event of disaster,” Sangma added.

 The former chief minister further asked all the states including Meghalaya to ensure purchasing of the vaccines is vested with the Centre.  

 “…all the states must come together and collectively assert themselves to prevail upon the Government of India as the responsibility of purchasing of the vaccines must be vested with the Government of India,” he said.

 His statement also came a day after Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had informed that the state would require over Rs 90 crore plus for starting the vaccination drive for the age group of 18 years and above.

 The Chief Minister had also admitted that fund availability is a big challenge for the state even as he requested the need to reduce the price of COVID-19 vaccines supplied to the state.

 

 

 

 

 

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