Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has agreed to his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik's suggestions that COVID-19 vaccines should be procured by the Centre from abroad and the states should be given the flexibility to manage the inoculation procedure.
"...We are in complete agreement that the Centre should procure a preventive vaccine against COVID-19 and the administration of vaccination be left to be managed effectively by the states," Mr Vijayan wrote to Mr Patnaik on Thursday.
"Looking forward to fruitful cooperation in the efforts to meet the unprecedented challenge posed by the pandemic," he added.
Mr Vijayan said this while responding to Naveen Patnaik's June 2 letter to all the chief ministers where he had sought unity among states on an ideal procurement policy. He had also advised states to shun competition over procuring vaccines from manufacturers.
Mr Patnaik had proposed a central procurement system and subsequent distribution among states for vaccination.
He had also said that there should be a consensus regarding the procurement of vaccines and states should not fight against each other.
"The only way to protect our people against future COVID-19 waves and provide them with a hope of survival is vaccination. Countries that have focused on vaccination programs have seen a remarkable improvement in their coronavirus situation. We have to provide this healing touch to our people," Mr Patnaik wrote in the letter that he shared on Twitter, tagging all the chief ministers.
"But this cannot be a battle among the states to compete against each other to procure vaccines," Mr Patnaik had stated in his letter to all the Chief Ministers.
Mr Vijayan had on May 29 written a letter to all non-BJP chief ministers including Mr Patnaik seeking a united effort to press the Centre to procure vaccine and ensure universal vaccination.
"Wrote to 11 CMs in the spirit of Cooperative Federalism. Quite unfortunate that the Centre absolves itself of its duty to procure vaccines, ensure free universal vaccination. United effort to jointly pursue our genuine demand is the need of the hour, so that Centre acts immediately," Mr Vijayan had tweeted.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)