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AIMIM supremo Asaduddin Owaisi targeted the Centre over the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and demanded to know why the Union govt was passing on its 'disastrous vaccination policy' to the states. Even as the Centre distributed 17.56 crore vaccine doses to states and UTs for free of cost, the AIMIM leader directed some crucial queries related to the inoculation drive throughout India and asked why adequate orders for the doses were not placed before time. Rekindling the vaccine diplomacy debate, Owaisi questioned India's move to send vaccines to foreign countries as aid with PM Modi's photo on the boxes despite knowing that India had a shortage of vaccines.
In a series of questions directed to the Centre, Owaisi asked why foreign-made vaccines did not receive the approval to be sold in India and sought to know why compulsory licensing for vaccines made by other Indian companies wasn't ordered. Further, he asked why GST was being charged on vaccines. It is pertinent to point out that India had approved the usage of Russia's Sputnik V COVID vaccine, adding to the already available made-in-India vaccines Covaxin (Bharat Biotech) and Covishield (SII).
Supreme Court said that @PMOIndia’s vaccination pricing policy prima facie violates Right to Life— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) May 9, 2021
1. Why were adequate vaccine orders not placed before time?
2. Why did Modi continue with vaccine export with his photo on boxes when we knew there weren’t enough vaccines? 1/n
3. Why did @PMOIndia not allow foreign made vaccines to be available in India?— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) May 9, 2021
4. Why did you not order compulsory licensing for vaccines to be made by other Indian companies?
5. Why are you still charging GST on vaccines? 2/n
6. Why are you now trying to pass your disastrous vaccination policy to the state governments? n/n— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) May 9, 2021
Owaisi noted that free and universal vaccination was the need of the hour for India as it battled the second wave of COVID and urged the Centre to make vaccinations simple & easy for all. the AIMIM supremo opined that the vaccine procurement could be centralised but the execution of vaccination operations be decentralised fully to the states. He also urged the government to do away with cumbersome online registration requirements.
We need free & universal vaccination. Vaccine procurement can be centralised but the execution of vaccination operations decentralised fully to the states. Do away with cumbersome online registration requirements. Make vaccinations simple & easy for all.— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) May 9, 2021
More than 72 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and union territories, while over 46 lakh doses will be received by them within the next three days, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday. The government of India has so far provided more than 17.56 crore vaccine doses (17,56,20,810) to states and union territories free of cost. Of this, the total consumption, including wastages, is 16,83,78,796 doses (as per data available at 8 am today).
"More than 72 lakh COVID vaccine doses (72,42,014) are still available with states and UTs to be administered. States with negative balance are showing more consumption (including wastage) than vaccine supplied as they have not reconciled the vaccine they have supplied to the armed forces," the ministry said. Furthermore, more than 46 lakh (46,61,960) vaccine doses will be received in addition by states and UTs within the next three days, it said. Vaccnation forms an integral component of the five-point strategy of the government of India of containment and management of the pandemic (including Test, Track, Treat and COVID-appropriate Behaviour), the ministry said