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Under Fire, Punjab Halts Sale of Center-Assigned Vaccines | India News


CHANDIGARH: Under fire from the opposition and the Center for the charge of profiting amid a pandemic, the Punjab government withdrew its order on Friday to sell Covid-19 vaccines assigned to the Center to private hospitals. The congressional government said the decision had not been made in the “right spirit.”
The state government led by Amarinder Singh has been the recipient for diverting the doses of vaccines assigned by the Center to private hospitals in the state and making a profit. It is alleged that the government sold doses of Covaxin, purchased for 400 rupees, to private health facilities for 1,060 rupees. Then private hospitals charged people 1,560 rupees per injection. According to the government, some 42,000 doses were assigned to private hospitals. Of these, he claimed, only 600 doses were administered to people in the 18 to 44 age group.
The state government has directed private hospitals to return all available vaccine doses, while the doses they have used must be returned once they obtain direct supplies from the manufacturers. The government will reimburse the amount deposited by private hospitals into the vaccine fund.
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said the instruction to provide limited one-time doses of vaccines to private hospitals has been withdrawn on the prime minister’s instructions. He said that all civil surgeons have been instructed not to make new assignments to private hospitals.
Sidhu said that since the Punjab government promised to provide all treatment services to Covid patients without discrimination in government hospitals, the vaccines would also be free.

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