Liberal, proactive and discerning import of vaccine is the paramount need today, West Bengal CM says
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the Centre to import vaccines on an urgent basis to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her letter, Ms. Banerjee said that “vaccines are the real antidote to the prevailing COVID pandemic” and it is possible for the country to import vaccines from different parts of the world.
“With the aid of scientists and experts, it is possible to identify the reputed and authentic manufacturers who have international reputation and credibility and it is possible for us in this country to speedily import vaccines from those ends across different parts of the world. I urge you to embark upon this endeavour without any further delay,” the CM said in her communication to the PM.
Ms. Banerjee emphasised that “liberal, proactive and discerning import of vaccination (vaccine) is the paramount need today”.
Pointing out that production (and hence the supply and distribution) of vaccines in the country is extremely inadequate and insignificant in the context of the massive population, she added that about 10 crore people in West Bengal and 140 crore people in the country “needed vaccination, here and now, but only a microscopic percent has been covered”.
Ms. Banerjee also suggested that both national and international vaccine manufacturers may be encouraged to open franchises in West Bengal and other parts of the country. “Also, it may kindly be considered if we could encourage the world players to open up franchise operations in the country. Even the national players could be inspired to go for the franchise mode for bulk production of vaccines. We, in West Bengal, are ready to produce land and support for any manufacturer in/ franchise operation for authentic vaccine manufacturing,” she said, urging the PM to accept the proposition.
In her earlier communication to the Prime Minister, the West Bengal Chief Minister had said that the Centre must ensure universal free vaccination.