Mamata writes to PM, calls for ‘liberal’ import of vaccines


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to approach the major vaccine manufacturing companies so that they open franchise operations in the country to enable India meet the huge demand for vaccines.

Urging the Prime Minister to approach the global giants in vaccine manufacturing, Banerjee said, “Reports indicate that globally there are many manufacturers now. With the aid of scientists and experts, it is possible to identify the reputed and authentic manufacturers who have international reputation and credibility, and it is possible for us in this country 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 vaccines is the paramount need today.”

The Trinamool Congress supremo also expressed her willingness to provide land for the purpose.

“It may kindly be considered that 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 franchisee mode for bulk production of vaccines.

“We are ready to provide land for manufacturing/franchisee operation for authentic vaccine manufacturing and any other support required,” Banerjee said in the letter.

“You are 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 need of the people at large. About 10 crore people in West Bengal and 140 crore people in the country need vaccination, but only a microscopic percentage has been covered so far,” the Chief Minister wrote.