Allow Maharashtra to purchase vaccines independently: Raj Thackeray writes to PM Modi

In view of the vaccine shortage in the state, Thackeray urged Modi to allow the state to purchase the vaccines independently. To ramp up the vaccination pace in the state, he suggested 100 per cent vaccination across all age groups as an important strategy.

Gaon Connection
| Updated: April 14th, 2021

Thackeray also urged Modi to ensure the supply of other essential drugs required to combat coronavirus such as Remdesivir and oxygen. Photo: @RajThackeray/twitter

In his letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, Raj Thackeray, president of Maharashtra NavNirman Sena (MNS), has requested Modi to allow the state of Maharashtra, the worst affected due to the pandemic, to purchase COVID-19 vaccines independently.

The MNS chief has also urged the prime minister to allow private agencies to purchase the vaccines, and allow Pune-based Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, to sell the vaccine freely but under the regulations in Maharashtra.

“Maharashtra has seen the highest number of cases as well as the highest number of deaths in absolute numbers… Therefore, 100% vaccination is an important strategy in the state’s armour to fight the Corona virus,” wrote Thackeray.

For the past few days, several states including Maharashtra said their vaccine stocks were drying up, which was affecting the state’s vaccination drive.

Also Read: COVID19: Which states in India are reporting ‘vaccine shortage’? Details here

Thackeray has urged Modi to allow the state to ensure the supply of other essential drugs required to combat coronavirus such as Remdesivir and oxygen.

Among other requests, Thackeray requested Modi that other institutions in Maharashtra like the Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited and Hindustan Antibiotics should be allowed to manufacture vaccines. “This will ensure sufficient doses of vaccines required by the state,” said Thackeray in the letter.

Meanwhile, keeping in mind the growing corona cases in the state, the state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray yesterday announced a 15-day lockdown which comes into effect from today 8 pm today till May 1 morning. Maharashtra, with over 60,000 new cases and 281 deaths, remains the worst-affected state.

Also Read: 15 days complete lockdown in Maharashtra from April 14 evening till May 1 morning: CM Uddhav Thackeray

Referring to the impact of last year’s lockdown in the state, MNS chief said “Further lockdowns to control the spread are not a viable option in the long run. Nor is it sustainable for Maharashtra. However, if vaccines are in short supply, what alternative will the state have?”

To fight the coronavirus, Thackeray suggested 100 per cent vaccination as an important strategy. He urged Modi to assist Maharashtra to include vaccination across all age groups.

“Health is a state subject and we must not only be allowed but also encouraged to adapt different strategies appropriate to local conditions and character. This will allow innovation, enabling us to deploy different means to combat the pandemic and ultimately learn from each other,” said MNS chief in the letter.

As of today, April 14 (till 7am), Maharashtra has administered over 10 million (10,753,947) doses. This is 9.67 per cent of the total cumulative doses given so far in the country. Cumulatively, the country has administered 111 million vaccine doses.

Meanwhile, to increase the pace of vaccination with a bigger pool of vaccines, the central government has decided to fast-track emergency approval for foreign-produced COVID vaccines that have been granted emergency authorisation in other countries. On April 12, Russian-made COVID vaccine Sputnik V was cleared for emergency use by the Drugs Controller General of India.