Amid acute shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, Kerala State Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, June 2, passed a unanimous resolution asking the Union government to provide vaccines to all states free of cost. This is so that the state governments can proceed with vaccinating all citizens in a timely manner. The resolution was moved by Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Veena George, one day after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stressed that Kerala would make COVID-19 vaccines available to all citizens for free, and that one crore COVID-19 vaccine doses had already been ordered by the state government.
The resolution criticised the Union governmentâ€™s vaccine policy, which allows states and private players to compete in the open market to procure vaccines from manufacturers. â€śFree vaccines to fight dangerous infectious diseases was adopted as national policy earlier. The Centre is now asking states to procure vaccines from the open market, which is highly condemnable, the resolution says. The opposition suggested a few amendments to the resolution, which was passed after these amendments were incorporated.
Before this, the Kerala Legislative Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution asking for the resignation of the newly appointed administrator of Lakshadweep, Praful Khoda Patel, and to get the controversial orders issued by him withdrawn. The resolution was moved on May 31, and the Kerala Assembly unanimously passed it.
Recently, the Drugs Controller General of India announced that globally available vaccines can be launched in India without bridging trials or testing every batch of the vaccine. However, the vaccines must be approved for restricted use by WHO,European Medicines Agency, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency and Food and Drug Administration.