Retaliating to Rahul Gandhi's comment on the high price of indigenous vaccines, Health Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday asserted that now is the time to fight united and not to demoralize the indigenous vaccine manufacturer- the Bharat Biotech.
" We must be proud of what Bharat Biotech has done for this country, but Rahul Gandhi did not congratulate it even once," he said while highlighting that the Hyderabad-based biotechnology company had garnered appreciation throughout the world, including the United States, which yesterday called its vaccine effective in the fight against COVID-19. Pointing out that it had developed vaccines earlier as well, he added, "But congress govt used to completely rely on vaccines from china."
Reiterating the promise of the government, he asserted, " Free vaccination will be provided to all above 45 years and to all between 18-45 years, the states governments will be providing vaccination." Having said that, he took the opportunity to remind the Congress government of the time it took to do away with Tuberculosis, and added, "You took so many years and you won't give a couple of years to Narendra Modi?" Adding that the country has already vaccinated about a crore people, he affirmed, "In a State like Assam, We are administering lakh doses every day."
Ahead of the third phase of the vaccination drive slated to kickstart on May 1, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to his official Twitter handle and once again tried to sow a seed of distrust in the minds of the people by highlighting the 'high prices' of the vaccine, which allegedly was to get profit for 'Modi-Mitra'. He also went on to claim that the price of the vaccines was the highest ever in the world.
Sharing snippets of articles, he wrote, "People's money was given to vaccine companies to develop Covid vaccines. Now, GOI will make the same people pay the highest price in the world for these vaccines. Once again, the failed ‘system’ fails our citizens for Modi-mitrs’ profit."
People's money was given to vaccine companies to develop Covid vaccines.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 28, 2021
Now, GOI will make same people pay the highest price in the world for these vaccines.
Once again, the failed ‘system’ fails our citizens for Modi-mitrs’ profit. pic.twitter.com/3TELXqmZwK
The liberalized third phase, which is slated to begin on May 1, has opened the vaccination drive, which was earlier limited to those aged 45 years and above, to all aged 18 and above. To meet the growing need for vaccination, the Centre has asked the vaccine manufacturing companies to scale up their production with the help of International as well as national players and has allowed them to supply 50 per cent of the produced doses to state and private hospitals directly, which means now the States and the private hospitals do not have to go through the entire process, and can directly get it from the manufacturers at the price declared by them. At present, India has in use two vaccines- Covaxin and Covishield, and will soon have the Sputnik V in the race. Besides, there are around five more vaccine candidates in the advanced clinical stages of development.