Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday questioned the government on its strategy for making the Covid-19 vaccine available to people, saying he wished it was the subject of the Prime Minister’s “Mann Ki Baat” radio programme.
"The question is legitimate, but how long will India wait for the government's answer? Alas, the Covid-19 vaccine access strategy should have been the 'Mann ki baat'," he said in a tweet in Hindi.
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Gandhi's tweet came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi aired his monthly Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio (AIR). Along with his comment, Gandhi shared a news report regarding Serum Institute of India, CEO Adar Poonawalla's tweet in which he asked the government if it had Rs 80,000 crore available to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine to the country's population over the next one year. "I ask this question, because we need to plan and guide, vaccine manufacturers both in India and overseas to service the needs of our country in terms of procurement and distribution," Poonawalla had said on Twitter on Saturday.
Quick question; will the government of India have 80,000 crores available, over the next one year? Because that's what @MoHFW_INDIA needs, to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India. This is the next concerning challenge we need to tackle. @PMOIndia— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) September 26, 2020
Serum Institute of India has signed an agreement to manufacture the potential vaccine developed by Jenner Institute of Oxford University in collaboration with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca.