Mamata Banerjee asks PM Modi to import COVID vaccines from global manufacturers

Amid the reports of vaccine shortage from many parts of the country, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to "speedily import" vaccines from global manufacturers.

In the letter, the West Bengal Chief Minister suggested the Prime Minister 'encourage world and national players (vaccine manufacturers) to open up franchise operations'.

"You are kindly aware that as per experts, vaccination is now the real antidote to the prevailing COVID pandemic. It seems, however, that the production (and hence, the supply and distribution) of vaccines in the country is extremely inadequate and insignificant in the context of the massive needs of the people at large. About 10 crore people in West Bengal and 140 crore people in the country need vaccination, here and now, but only a microscopic percentage has been covered," Banerjee said.

She said the reports indicate that globally there are many manufacturers now, and "with the aid of scientists and experts", it is possible to identify the reputed and authentic manufacturers who have "international reputation and credibility" to "speedily import vaccines from those ends across the different parts of the world".

"I urge you to embark upon this endeavour without any further delay. Liberal, pro-active and discerning import of vaccination is the paramount need today," she said.

"Also, it may kindly be considered if we could encourage the world players to open up franchise operations in our country. Even the national players could be inspired to go for the franchise mode for bulk production of vaccines," West Bengal Chief Minister added.

She said the West Bengal government is ready to provide land and support for any manufacturing/franchisee operation for authentic vaccine manufacturing, and requested the Prime Minister to consider her proposition.

Many states across the country, including Delhi, Maharastra, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh have reported a shortage of vaccine to vaccinate the 18 years to 44 years age group. (ANI)


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