Congress leaders have urged people to speak up for a free universal vaccination opposing the Centre’s move to ask the states and private hospitals to procure vaccines on their own. Hitting out at the government, many congress leaders uploaded videos on Twitter using the hashtag #SpeakUpForFreeUniversalVaccination.
“Having seen the statements from the government that everyone will be vaccinated, I wonder how the government is going to get there. I support Indian National Congress’ campaign for a massive change in the government’s policy to permit universal vaccination of all Indians within the promised deadline of December and do all so free of cost,” said Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor in a video he tweeted.
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“It is unacceptable that the central government should be demanding states and private hospitals to buy vaccines…. at extortionate prices…. I’ve been through a lot. I don’t want my fellow citizens to suffer even a fraction of what I have…,” he said, referring to how he too contracted Covid-19.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted a video saying that India’s vaccination rate is just 1.9 million people per day against the required eight million. She said countries such as Germany and the US have a centralised vaccine procurement plan and states there are just tasked to distribute the vaccines. “Why did the Modi government not have any such plan?”
Using the hashtag, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted a video asking people to upload videos demanding free vaccination for all. He called for a new vaccination policy.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted that all previous central governments promoted free vaccination. “Now when the nation is grappling with an unprecedented health crisis, to deny vaccination to all is totally unjust.”
Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram pointed out the shortage of vaccines in states such as Tamil Nadu. “Without money in some states and without vaccines in some states, how will you vaccinate people of India?”