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Karnataka: Congress seeks permission to procure Covid vaccine directly, presents ‘Rs 100-crore plan’

"Rs 10 crore initially will be contributed from our state party fund while another Rs 90 crore can be sourced from funds of MLAs and MLCs from Congress. For this, I also appeal CM Yediyurappa and the state government to allow us to use the MLA/MLC funds to procure vaccines directly in a transparent manner," Shivakumar said.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: May 14, 2021 2:54:22 pm
Karnataka congress, Karnataka congress vaccine plan, Karnataka covid situation, Karnataka government, Karnataka vaccination, Karnataka news, Indian expressKarnataka Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah, state Congress chief D K Shivakumar, and other leaders during a press meet held in Bengaluru on Friday. (Express Photo)

The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Friday announced that it has prepared a Rs 100 crore plan to procure vaccines directly from vaccine manufacturers to be administered to people in the state. Senior party leaders Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar also sought permission from the Centre and the state governments to allow them to do so.

“Since the Modi and Yediyurappa governments have collectively failed to vaccinate the masses, we want to do it ourselves. We just need two small permissions, one from the central government and one from the state government,” state Congress chief D K Shivakumar said in Bengaluru.

Further, Shivakumar explained how the party had formulated the Rs 100 crore plan to enable procurement of vaccines directly from the manufacturers. “Rs 10 crore initially will be contributed from our state party fund while another Rs 90 crore can be sourced from funds of MLAs and MLCs from Congress. For this, I also appeal CM Yediyurappa and the state government to allow us to use the MLA/MLC funds to procure vaccines directly in a transparent manner,” Shivakumar said.

Later, former CM Siddaramaiah said, “All Congress MLAs, MLCs and MPs from Karnataka have decided to contribute Rs 1 crore each from their local area development funds to procure vaccines and distribute it to the people. We want everyone to get vaccinated at the earliest.”

The development comes on the same day (May 14) from when the Karnataka government has temporarily suspended the vaccination of people aged 18 to 44 at government hospitals and vaccination centers across the state, citing shortage in the available stock of vaccines. The state government had announced that it had decided to use the available stock of vaccines to inoculate persons aged 45 and above, waiting for their second dose.

“The state government has decided that the vaccine procured directly by the state for vaccination of persons between 18 to 44 years will be utilised for vaccination of beneficiaries who are due for the second dose. Therefore all vaccines available with the state government (ie. supplied by GoI & procured directly by state) will be utilised for vaccination of beneficiaries due for the second dose,” a note from the Department of Health and Family Welfare issued on Wednesday read.

Meanwhile, Health Minister K Sudhakar on Thursday claimed that the Covid-19 vaccine under development at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru is promising, as the results show a better neutralising effect as compared to other existing vaccines.

“Vaccine being developed by IISc promises to have more neutralising effect than the existing vaccines and can be stored at normal temperature up to 30 degrees Celsius,” he tweeted after an interaction with ISc Director Prof Govindan Rangarajan.

To date, Karnataka has inoculated 1.09 crore doses of vaccines cumulatively of which 86.34 lakh were first and another 23.41 were second doses used to inoculate people from across priority and age groups, since January 16 this year.

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