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‘One nation, One price’: Opposition calls for uniform COVID-19 vaccine pricing across states

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Vaccine priceVaccine priceWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi has asked the Centre to reconsider its vaccine liberalisation decision.

The Narendra Modi government’s decision to liberalise vaccination and to allow the states to directly procure vaccines from manufacturers has not gone down well with the opposition parties. While many states have decided to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to adults free of cost, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi terming the new COVID-19 vaccine policy arbitrary and discriminatory.

In her letter to PM Modi, she alleged that the new vaccine policy implies that the central government has abdicated its responsibility of providing free vaccines to all Indians.

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“It is surprising that despite the harsh lessons of last year and the pain inflicted on our citizens, the Government continues to follow an arbitrary and discriminatory policy, which promises to exacerbate existing challenges,” she said in her letter.

Sonia Gandhi noted in the letter that any reasonable person will agree on the benefit of a uniform price for vaccination. The Congress president urged the prime minister to intervene and reverse this ill-considered decision.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also called upon the Centre to bring in uniformity in the vaccine pricing. “One nation, one party, one leader shouts BJP all the time but to save lives they can’t have one price for the vaccine. Every Indian needs free vaccine, regardless of age, caste, creed, location. GoI must fix ONE price for Covid vaccine irrespective of who pays— Centre or the States,” she said in a tweet.

After the Centre announced the new vaccination policy, the Serum Institute of India fixed a price of Rs 400 per dose for its COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’ for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.

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