K. Balakrishnan, the Tamil state secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has said why the government has ignored public sector companies in the production of vaccines and allowed private corporates.
In this connection, K. Balakrishnan has issued a statement saying, “People are in a dilemma due to the number of diseases and deaths. In this situation, the shortage of vaccines has increased the fear among the people. The federal government, which has not properly considered the need for the vaccine, has now allowed only two private companies to manufacture the vaccine, completely rejecting the public sector companies that have the longest experience in the production of the vaccine and have the greatest productivity.
It is through the contribution of such PSUs that India has become one of the leading manufacturers of vaccines for various diseases in the world. In particular, Hindustan Biotech, a central public sector undertaking operating in Chengalpattu, and Pasteur Laboratory in the Nilgiris, have set up PCG in Chennai. The laboratory can meet the overall demand of the country if it undertakes vaccine production in public sector institutions across the country including the Central Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Shimla.
If the federal government had put these companies into production, people would not have been forced to buy the vaccine shortage that exists today and pay more. But the fact that the central government has funded several private companies worth billions of rupees to two private companies, the Serum Institute and the Bharat Biotech Company, and is now forcing state governments to buy the vaccine at exorbitant prices, is playing with the lives of the people of the country.
In view of the present situation and need, the Central Government should immediately grant permission for the manufacture of vaccines in public sector undertakings and provide financial assistance for the commencement of production. Therefore, the Central Government should take steps to expedite the production of the required vaccines in public sector institutions by implementing the Compulsory Licensing system. The policy of selling the vaccine in the market should be withdrawn and the announcement has been made that the National Vaccine Policy recently announced by the Central Government will now make the vaccine available in a wide range of locations including pharmacies and private hospitals so that people can buy and use it.
It is highly reprehensible that the federal government, which is supposed to provide free vaccinations to all people, has taken a dangerous decision to shirk its duty and push people towards the market. The Marxist Communist Party (MCP) has called on the federal government to withdraw its policy of selling the vaccine in the market and announce a free vaccine for all, as the government’s decision will increase the price of the vaccine in the markets this time around, as it did in the wake of last year’s corona outbreak and public robberies in private hospitals and counterfeit markets. The party insists, ”said K. Balakrishnan.
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