Congress MP, B. Manickam Tagore, said pressure from the Supreme Court and appeals from leaders of Opposition parties and CMs had forced PM Modi to announce that the Union government would bear the cost of COVID-19 vaccines for all States
With government hospitals running out of COVID-19 vaccines, Virudhunagar MP, B. Manickam Tagore, refused to take his second dose of the vaccine on Tuesday. The Congress MP had taken his first dosage of Covishield on April 8 and was due to get the second jab now.
He was planning to get the second dosage of the vaccine on Tuesday. “When I asked the Deputy Director (Health) about the vaccination, he said he could make a special arrangement for me. I was told that vaccination camp could not be held at the Government Medical College Hospital due to lack of stocks,” Mr. Tagore told The Hindu.
Stating that he was not willing to take the second dose when it was not available for members of the public, he refused to take it.
“I will go the vaccination when it is open for others too,” Mr. Tagore said.
‘SC, Opposition parties forced PM to change vaccination policy’
Pressure from the Supreme Court and appeals from leaders of Opposition parties and Chief Ministers of various States forced Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to announce that the Union government would bear the cost of COVID-19 vaccines for all States, Mr. Tagore said.
Talking to reporters on Tuesday, Mr. Tagore said that Justice Chandrachud had come down heavily on the Centre’s vaccination policy. Besides, Congress leaders, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Chief Ministers of various States, including Tamil Nadu CM, M.K. Stalin, had demanded that the Centre provide vaccines to people of all eligible age groups free of cost.
“Even when the Prime Minister announced that vaccine would be supplied to States free of cost, he has not come up with the plan as to how such a huge quantity of vaccine could be supplied,” he said.
Even now, the Prime Minister was only helping private hospitals by reserving 25% of the vaccines for them. It is not clear as to whether government hospitals or private hospitals would get the priority in vaccine supply, Mr. Tagore said.
When his attention was drawn to the lack of vaccine stocks in government hospitals in Virudhunagar district, the Congress MP attributed it to the wrong policy of the Prime Minister. “Since he allowed the export of 6.70 crore doses of vaccines, we are in such a bad situation,” he said.
He also faulted the Centre for States being unable to procure vaccines from foreign companies as the Union government did not give the sovereign guarantee.
Appeal to Collector
Meanwhile, Mr. Tagore has appealed to Virudhunagar Collector, R. Kannan, to procure pulse oximeters and thermal scanners for the benefit of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme being implemented in local bodies under his Lok Sabha constituencies.
He gave a letter to the Collector seeking his permission for allocation of ₹25.98 lakh from the MP Local Area Development fund to procure 906 oximeters and an identical number of thermal scanners.
The devices could be used to scan people before they are engaged in works under the rural job guarantee scheme as a precautionary measure.
Stating that the country was facing the threat of a third wave of COVID, he said his gesture was only to prepare for it.
Sivakasi MLA, G. Ashokan, was present.
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