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Kerala in talks with manufacturers for direct purchase of Covid-19 vaccines

Vijayan said whether it is the Centre or the state that ensures vaccine supply, what is most important is that people are vaccinated. The Centre can later reimburse the cost of the vaccine purchased by the state, he suggested.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: April 22, 2021 8:23:32 pm
A queue at a school in Kottayam, Kerala, for Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, amid a shortage of doses in the state. (Express)

The Kerala government has initiated steps to directly purchase Covid-19 vaccines from manufacturers. A high-level committee headed by the chief secretary has been constituted for talks with the manufacturers, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday.

After the daily review of the Covid-19 situation in the state, the Chief Minister told the media that Kerala is not waiting for a final decision of the Union Government regarding the distribution of the vaccine (free of cost). “We have requested the Centre to provide the vaccine free of cost. We haven’t got any response from the Centre, but we are confident about a positive outcome. However, we can’t wait. If we wait until the Centre’s decision, it may be too late. Hence, the decision to go for direct purchase from the vaccine manufacturers,’’ he said.

Vijayan said whether it is the Centre or the state that ensures vaccine supply, what is most important is that people are vaccinated. The Centre can later reimburse the cost of the vaccine purchased by the state, he suggested.

He said the committee, also comprising health and finance secretaries, would hold discussions with the vaccine manufacturers about various aspects, including how many doses they can make available to the state.

On Thursday, Kerala reported 26995 new cases, the highest ever daily cases, taking the active caseload of the state to 1.56 lakh.

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