Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik writes to CMs over ‘centralised vaccine procurement’, seeks consensus

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik said that states should not be competing with each other in getting vaccines and united efforts are required for vaccine procurement.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written to all chief ministers on centralised procurement of vaccines by the Government of India and asked them to join hands in the fight against COVID-19. CM Patnaik said that he also spoke to some chief ministers who shared his views and asserted that no state is safe unless all states adopt vaccination as a top priority.

Sharing his letter on Twitter, Patnaik said that states should not be competing with each other in getting vaccines and united efforts are required for vaccine procurement.

“The only way to protest our people against future waves and provide them with a hope of survival is vaccination. Countries which have focused on vaccination program have seen a remarkable improvement in their COVID situation. We have to provide this healing touch to our people. No state is safe unless all the states adopt vaccination as the topmost priority and execute it on war-footing,” said Patnaik in his letter.

He said the objective cannot be achieved if states keep battling among each-others for procuring vaccines.

“…best option available is for Government of India to centrally procure the vaccines and distribute it among the States so that our citizens are vaccinated at the earliest,” said the Odisha CM.

He also called for the decentralisation of the vaccination programme.

“At the same time, the execution of the vaccination program has to be decentralised and States allowed the flexibility to determine their own mechanism to ensure universal vaccination,” he said.

Patnaik said that this is the greatest challenge that the country has faced since Independence. “We will set aside whatever differences we have and come together in the true spirit of Cooperative Federalism for saving precious lives and hard-earned livelihoods. We as a ‘team’ owe it to our Citizens,” said Patnaik.

Notably, CM Naveen Patnaik had also floated a global tender for procurement of vaccines but received little response. Yesterday, the Odisha government sought the Centre’s statutory clearance to select a suitable bidder for its global tenders. The state had also amended certain clauses in the document to give more chances to global vaccine manufacturers to participate in the global tender, the deadline of which has been extended from May 28 to June 4. However, seeing the difficulties in vaccine procurement, he has finally written to all the CMs seeking consensus on the issue.

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