‘Stalin caused vaccine hesitancy’

‘Chengalpattu vaccine unit is not like a mechanic shop’

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin was instrumental in causing “vaccine hesitancy” in the State when he was the opposition leader by raising doubts over the safety of vaccines, causing people not to take the available vaccines for COVID-19, Tamil Nadu BJP president L. Murugan claimed on Tuesday.

At a press conference in Chennai, Mr. Murugan charged, “It is only the Chief Minister and then opposition leader [M.K. Stalin] who raised doubts over vaccines. He only caused the enthusiasm among the public for getting vaccinated to drop. But after raising doubts about the safety of vaccines, he and other opposition leaders went and took the vaccine.”

To a question on Tamil Nadu proposing to take over and operate the vaccine manufacturing unit in Chengalpattu, Mr. Murugan said, “It is not a mechanic shop or a lorry godown. Scientists have to give their opinion and the Centre will take a decision on it. Only scientists know what technology is there and whether the Chengalpattu unit has the same technology as the two vaccine manufacturing companies in India.”

He further said there was a possibility that the Union government itself might decide to operate the plant. Mr. Murugan said the Union government was working to ensure that everyone in the country gets vaccinated by November. On the vaccine shortage in Tamil Nadu, he said Tamil Nadu was given 20 lakh vaccines last month and in June, it was being doubled to 42 lakh.

“We [BJP government at the Centre] have already given one crore vaccines to Tamil Nadu. By November, everyone in the State will get vaccinated. We had given enough stock to the State initially, but it was not utilised properly and there was wastage when compared to other States. Only now vaccination is picking up here,” he said.

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