THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Anticipating a hike in COVID vaccine prices, Kerala on Monday urged the Centre to take steps to reduce it by floating a global tender after taking into account the cumulative need of the states going in for global procurement of shots.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said if the states go for separate global tenders and compete in the market, the natural consequence will be the pushing up of vaccine prices.
He urged the Centre to take the lead in assessing the vaccine demand of each state and float a global tender taking into account the cumulative need.
"This will help in reducing the prices," Vijayan said in the letter.
In the letter, he also urged the Centre to provide vaccines freely to all states as it should be treated as a public good from which none should be excluded.
He said the most effective way to control the spread of the disease is to vaccinate as many people as possible in the community and build herd immunity.
"To achieve this, we need to have a universal vaccination drive," Vijayan said .
Earlier, addressing the media here, Vijayan noted that several states have floated separate global tenders to procure COVID vaccines.
This could lead to a sharp rise in the price of vaccines.
The price of vaccines can be kept low if the central government invites global tender, he said.