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Jabs for all in December, says government as SC interrogates it about vaccine policy | India News


NEW DELHI: The Center told the Supreme Court on Monday that it expects the entire country’s population over the age of 18 to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of the year, but the court remained skeptical about the lawsuit, citing impediments in the form of double pricing and allocation of vaccines at different prices to states and private hospitals.
Attorney General Tushar Mehta informed a court of judges DY Chandrachud, LN Rao and SR Bhat that, taking into account the estimated production of the national vaccine manufacturers, Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech and Dr Reddy’s Lab, the government expects that “all the eligible population is vaccinated by the end of the year. ”
The bank said: “To date, we have not seen the vaccination policy document. What led the government to think about the dual price of vaccines? What is the reason behind the Center getting the vaccines at a price? while for states it is higher? and higher for private hospitals Why has the government let manufacturers set prices for vaccines? Why are states and even municipal corporations launching global tenders for the acquisition of Vaccines? Won’t it lead to a biased supply of vaccines to citizens? based on the state in which they resided? ”
These were some of the questions that flooded the Secretary General during the two-hour court hearing that asked the Center to submit an affidavit within two weeks. The SG said that vaccination for all will be free, since the states have made a written commitment to that effect with the central government.
Judge Bhat said: “Whatever the affidavit, in addition to justifying policy decisions, the Union government must present to the court the policy document and supporting reasoning, including relevant record notations. free? The only problem that is looking at us right now is vaccination. ”
Judge Chandrachud said that Article 1 of the Constitution says that India is a Union of States. “When mandated by the Constitution, at a time of national crisis, the government of India should purchase the vaccine and distribute it among the states rather than asking the states to fend for themselves. This could leave the citizens to residing in poor states in the lurch like those states cannot even afford the required amount of vaccines, “he said.
The court did not appear to be convinced why the population over 45 would receive free vaccination through the Center and why states have to purchase the vaccines at a higher cost for the population in the 18 to 18 age group. 45 years. Judge Chandrachud said: “In the 18 to 45 age group there are approximately 60 million people. Of the vaccines intended for this group, 50% go to private hospitals. Will 50% of the 18 to 45 population be able to years? to pay the charges in the private hospitals? Not at all. How do we consider that the marginalized sections, who cannot fend for themselves, will be vaccinated? ”
The bank also raised the issue of the difficulties many face in registering for a vaccination space through the CoWin portal. The SG repeatedly said that the government is aware of the dynamics of the situation and has modified several political decisions to address the difficulties people face and has begun to allow on-site registration at vaccination centers, in addition to allowing vaccination campaigns in housing societies and community centers. .
The SG said that mandatory registration is based on the reasoning that the person taking the first dose of the vaccine must also take the second dose and this requires details to be recorded. “If you don’t take the second dose, even the first dose is wasted,” he said. Judge Rao asked the Center to provide statistical data on the urban-rural relationship in vaccinations carried out so far while wondering if the current vaccination campaign was more focused on cities.
Judge Rao said: “Vaccination does not go to rural areas. This requires urgent attention from governments. 25% of vaccines allocated to private hospitals would go mainly to urban populations, as private hospitals do not operate in rural areas. This gives the impression that vaccination policy excludes rural areas. ” The SG said the government is aware of the situation and “not oblivious to the situation on the ground.”
Judge Chandrachud said: “Is it possible for a migrant worker from a marginalized section of rural areas to register through CoWin? You shout a lot about digital India. But are you aware of the marked digital divide in rural areas? Ears? to the ground and adjust policy accordingly to try to address the problems faced by all citizens … Please smell the coffee and make appropriate modifications to policy decisions. They cannot be ad hoc day-to-day decisions by part of the authorities. to be a comprehensive policy framework that is perhaps lacking today. ”
Exasperated by the quick questioning and failure of political decisions, Mehta philosophically reflected: “Any decision made by the executive could be superseded by the wisdom of the Supreme Court.” However, he assured the court that the necessary policy changes will be made and that the government will respond to all inquiries to the satisfaction of the CS.
Amicus curiae Jaideep Gupta and Meenakshi Arora also suggested universal free vaccination and asked the court for instructions for governments to keep all crematoria and cemeteries up and running for a dignified farewell to all who succumb to Covid.

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