The Opposition leaders have been demanding greater autonomy in procurement and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines by the Opposition ruled states.
The Union government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi provided them autonomy last month.
In a massive u-turn Wednesday, the Opposition leaders wrote a joint letter to PM Modi demanding the Union government take responsibility for procuring vaccines.
Former Congress president and the Nehru family scion Rahul Gandhi had been demanding autonomy for the states in vaccine procurement.
Many of the Opposition ruled states have been slow in starting the process for procurement of vaccines.
The country has administered about 18 crore doses till date. Two vaccines, Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, are currently being administered in the country.
Some more vaccines have been granted the emergency use authorisation.
The Union government has taken multiple steps to boost the production capacity of the plants manufacturing vaccines.
Serum Institute was provided monetary assistance of INR 3000 crores and Bharat Biotech availed assistance of INR 1500 crores.
Many other PSU plants are being put in service to produce doses of Covid-19 vaccines.