Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (File photo)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (File photo)

Open vaccination program for everyone: Rahul Gandhi in letter to PM Modi

ANI | Updated: Apr 09, 2021 16:14 IST

New Delhi [India], April 9 (ANI): Highlighting the concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to open up the country's vaccination program to everyone who needs it.
Taking a jibe, The Congress leader said the vaccination program should move beyond an "individual's picture on the vaccine certificate" and towards "guaranteeing maximum vaccination".
He promised his party's support to a "well-planned, universalised and speedy vaccination drive," and requested the Prime Minister to provide vaccine suppliers with the necessary resources to increase manufacturing capacity.
He also asked to place an immediate moratorium on vaccine export and fast track approval of other vaccines as per norms and guidelines.
"Double central allocation for vaccine procurement from the existing Rs 35.000 crore. Give State governments a greater say in vaccine procurement and distribution. Provide direct income support to the vulnerable sections in the disastrous second wave," Gandhi said in his letter.
Gandhi further said that it is unfortunate that India is under a renewed attack of the Covid-19 virus, "considering our scientific community and vaccine suppliers worked overtime to develop a solution but their efforts are undermined by the Centre's poor implementation and "oversight"."
He noted that India has achieved abundant experience in designing and executing some of the world's biggest vaccination programs. "Yet in the present case, we have managed to fully vaccinate less than 1 per cent of the population in 3 months," he wrote.
He said that at India's current vaccination rate, it would take years to inoculate 75 per cent of the population, and it will have catastrophic effects and will gravely decelerate India's economy.
"While our nation is facing vaccine starvation, more than 6 crore doses of vaccines have been exported. The state governments are repeatedly highlighting vaccine shortages only to receive intemperate statements by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare targeting Opposition ruled states, undercutting cooperative federalism which you too have stressed as essential. Was the export of vaccines also an "oversight", like many other decisions of this government, or an effort to garner publicity at the cost of our own citizens?" he asked.
Gandhi added that the "Centralization and individualized propaganda" are counter-productive.
"Even though Public Health is a state subject, our states have been bypassed right from vaccine procurement to registration. Additionally, a large section of the poor has been excluded due to the initial mandatory online registration," he added. (ANI)