Five days after Supreme Court slap, India changes vaccination policy. Prime Minister announces free vaccination

India changes course, announces free vaccination in an indirect dig at States trying to make money off vaccines

India changes course, announces free vaccination in an indirect dig at States trying to make money off vaccines
India changes course, announces free vaccination in an indirect dig at States trying to make money off vaccines

Five days after the Supreme Court raised a series of questions on vaccine policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced that the Central Government will provide free COVID-19 vaccine to states for inoculation of all above the age of 18 from June 21. The Centre has decided to buy 75 per cent of jabs from vaccine makers, including 25 per cent of the state quota, and give it for free to state governments, the Prime Minister said in an address to the nation. Modi said private sector hospitals can continue to procure 25 per cent of vaccines, but their service charge would be capped at Rs.150 per dose over the fixed price of the vaccine.

Modi Government was facing controversies when they asked the states to directly purchase vaccines from makers. Controversies peaked when vaccine companies increased the price of purchase by the states. Many states tried for global tender floating and failed. Due to the silence of the Central Government, vaccine companies like Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech declared increased price for states’ purchase leading to widespread criticism.

Modi said research is continuing on a nasal spray vaccine which, if successful, can significantly boost India’s vaccination drive, he said.

Supreme Court on June 2 asked a series of questions to the Central Government on the controversial vaccine policy, differences in pricing and distribution mechanism and widespread non-availability of vaccines across the country[1]. The Centre is supposed to reply to the Court on June 30 and now Central Government has changed its policy by making centralized purchasing and giving vaccine free to all above 18 and the fixed price of Rs.150 as service charge at private hospitals.

In his speech, Prime Minister blamed without naming that many states demanded control over-vaccination and now found to have failed.

Modi said seven companies are producing various vaccines against the Coronavirus in the country and trial of three more vaccines is at an advanced stage. The process of procuring vaccines from companies of other countries has also been expedited, the Prime Minister said. Amid concerns expressed by experts recently over children being affected by the virus, Modi said that in this direction trials of two vaccines are being carried out. Modi said research is continuing on a nasal spray vaccine which, if successful, can significantly boost India’s vaccination drive, he said.

India proved its mettle by making two made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines in a short time and over 23 crore doses have already been administered, the Prime Minister said. Meanwhile as on date, 4.48 crore people are only fully vaccinated. This means that 3.3% per cent of the population is fully vaccinated in the country having more than 136 crore population.

Prime Minister asserted that efforts are being made on a war-footing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic at various levels and production of essential medicines was ramped up. India is fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic on multiple fronts and new health infrastructure has been created across the country, he asserted.

References:

[1] Supreme Court slams Centres vaccine policy. Seeks all details of vaccine purchase, supply and distribution from Centre & StatesJun 02, 2021, PGurus.com

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8 COMMENTS

  1. The government has responded to SC stating that the policy decisions should be left to executive whatever one might opine the fact is:
    132 cr X 2= 264 cr. jabs, imagine the money involved if it can be spent under the emergency procurement with no accountability. That was the reason why the states wanted to procure the vaccines. Once it was realized that center had put in place the systems of registrations etc. to ensure that each dose is accounted for the states lost interest.
    Till then the media was used to propagate that in rural areas there was no connectivity or smart phones and even courts were deployed to in an attempt to grab the procurement.
    NO KHAUNGA NA KHANE DUNGA is the problem.

  2. PGurus, the thin line between you and the MNM is eroding rapidly. You have no guts to question the court on interfering in the pricing of a vaccine (the court becoming the financial advisor for vaccine manufacturer). You have no guts questioning the state governments on failing to procure and vaccinate(you have the company of the court here). But you are ready to question the central government on the drop of a hat. Are you a coward? or Sold out? At least learn from SWARAJYA on questioning the court!!!

    • In April 2020, RTPCR Tests conducted at Rs.12-15K & Court put a cap of Rs.4K. Then Govts intervened & tests @ Rs.800.This is Democracy & it is the beauty of Democracy when decisions evolved thru Judiciary Vs Executive Vs Parliament+4th Estate-Media

      • Please show me the court order capping the price of RT-PCR test. At least show me one litigation filed before April 2020 asking the court to intervene and fix the price.

  3. The Supreme court is hurting the nation by interfering too much in the administration of central policies when s state attacks the center for not giving enough support, The center tried its best to make crook chief Ministers like Kejrival Kerala CM and Rajastan CM happy. what did they do? They sold the vaccines to private hospitals and made good money Private hospitals added their own price and made the vaccine extremely expensive. 350 rupee vaccine was getting sold for 2500 rupees . How many people can afford. when poor people complain about not getting the vaccine, their appeals are used to target the center. Good the center is going to make vaccine free for all. Hope they use special armed forces personnel and thousands of medical personnel and adminsiter vaccine doses in millions every day. India can win this deadly war only when we can stop the anti VAccine mafia from spreading fake news about the vaccines

  4. So the truth has come out. All the Cheif Ministers who were in the forefront in demanding control over the functioning of COVID response/control has failed miserably. Be it the most honest CM in Delhi or the most efficient one in Maharashtra.
    The case of Maharashtra and the CMs party controlled private bank BMC ie tried all the gimicks and failed miserably. Shiv Sena threatning Serum Institue, Burning of their production facility. Now that their incompentencies have come in full public view supreme court has come to save the face of these govt and its failed CM than putting the blame on Modi. Ofcourse this can be twisted at convinence to show another picture

  5. I am glad that finally government is undertaking the free vaccination programme , which is vital to fight future waves and to eradicate the virus eventually. PM needs to be complemented for taking this much delayed decision without any ego hurdles. Modi needs to take similar steps to improve the economy which in dire straits. Some specific suggestions:
    1. Abolishing sections 50CA and 57(2) of Income-tax with regard to issue and sale of company shares to promote all entrepreneurs to take risk and setup new businesses with their resources.
    2. Deleting draconian provisions of IT Act relating to cash sales, penalties and making them simple
    3. Simplifying GST compliance by increasing thresholds. The mantra should be bigger guys need to comply first.
    4. Repeal all land ceiling laws and liberate agricultural sector from control
    5. Cut down wasteful Government revenue expenditure by digitisation of several processes
    6. Spend more on school education, primary health, and defence (why not).
    7. Keep all sycophants away

  6. This Prime Minister’s functioning style is a royal mess and classsic case of incompetence. I could not beleive the level incompetence !!

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