Centre’s vaccination time frame a ‘hoax’, says West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee | Kolkata News


KOLKATA: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday called the Centre’s plan to inoculate the country’s entire adult population by December 2021 “just a hoax” and said the latter was in the habit of making statements that had “no value”.
“They (the Centre) had promised free vaccines in Bihar ahead of the (assembly) polls there. They are yet to keep that promise,” she said, adding that she agreed with the CMs of Delhi, Odisha and Kerala that the Union government needed to provide vaccines to all states.
Banerjee, who spoke to her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday night, said: “I agree with his (Patnaik’s) views. So does Uddhav (Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray) and others. Kerala CM (Pinarayi Vijayan) has written about it.”
Patnaik, in a letter to all CMs including Banerjee, had stressed that the Centre should procure vaccines and distribute them among states while the latter must have the flexibility to decide on when to roll out vaccination for all. “They (the Centre) are asking states to procure (vaccines). State cannot do it. The Centre must send vaccines and for free,” Banerjee told reporters.
According to the CM, Bengal had already spent Rs 150 crore to buy vaccines. “But, we have been able to inoculate only 1.4 crore of our 10 crore population. And here, one is talking of 140 crore people in the country. Even if the Centre wants, vaccinating 140 crore people will take six months to a year. There is a reason behind this — the gap between two doses. Moreover, people who have just recovered from Covid are being medically advised to take vaccines after a gap of a few weeks.”
Banerjee has written several letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on rolling out “universal free vaccination in India” and not to burden states with buying the doses. Her government had last month also moved the Supreme Court, saying the vaccine prices were “arbitrary and discriminatory”.
It had urged the apex court to direct the Centre to “to set aside the current differential vaccine pricing regime” and cap vaccine prices at a uniform fixed rate.

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