Stressing upon the need for vaccination, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said that the best way to "protect our people against future waves" of COVID-19 is to centrally procure the vaccines and decentralise the execution of the inoculation drive.
In a letter written to his counterparts across the country, he referred to the unabated pandemic as perhaps the greatest challenge faced by the nation since the freedom struggle.
Recommending all states to come together to form consensus on the matter in the "true spirit of cooperative federalism" to save lives and livelihoods, Patnaik said, “No state is safe unless all the states adopt vaccination as the top most priority and execute it on war-footing. But this cannot be a battle among the states to compete against each other to procure vaccines."
"However, it is quite clear that the global vaccine manufacturers are looking forward to the Union Government for the clearances and assurances. They are unwilling to get into supply contract with the state governments. While the domestic vaccine manufacturers are having supply constraints and are not able to commit required supplies," Patnaik said while tagging all the chief ministers.
He further said, "Under the circumstances, the best option available is for the Government of India to centrally procure the vaccines and distribute it among the States. At the same time, the execution of the vaccination programme has to be decentralised and states allowed the flexibility to determine their own mechanisms."