Expect Centre to continue vaccination programme, supply of COVID-19 vaccines: HC

By: |
November 10, 2021 5:28 PM

The Centre told a bench headed by Chief Justice D N Patel, hearing a plea seeking supply of COVID-19 vaccines at “reduced” rates, that it was providing free of cost vaccines to all states and Union Territories.

A commitment of around 1.4 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses was made by countries across the world to the COVAX facility.A commitment of around 1.4 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses was made by countries across the world to the COVAX facility.

The Delhi High Court Wednesday said it expected the Centre to continue the National Vaccination Programme and supply of vaccines against COVID-19 as per its policy.

The Centre told a bench headed by Chief Justice D N Patel, hearing a plea seeking supply of COVID-19 vaccines at “reduced” rates, that it was providing free of cost vaccines to all states and Union Territories.

Central government lawyer Anurag Ahluwalia said that pursuant to the National Vaccination Programme, all states and UTs were giving free COVID-19 vaccines to all the people above 18 years at government centres.

In view of the Centre’s stand, the bench, which also comprised Justice Jyoti Singh, said that there was no reason to monitor the case.

“We expect the respondent government to continue the National Vaccination Programme and they will continue to supply COVID19 vaccines as per their policy,” the bench said.

In the plea filed in May, petitioner Rakesh had highlighted the increase in the cost of COVID-19 vaccines in the country, saying that it is “not easy” for most people to pay for the vaccines.

“Earlier the price of Covaxin at private hospital was Rs 250 and this was easy to pay… Hyderabad-based vaccine major Bharat Biotech has now fixed price of Covaxin to state government at Rs 600 per dosage and the same is fixed for private hospitals at Rs 1200, which is higher in India…

“Pune-based Serum Institute of India, manufacturer of Covishield vaccine, fixed price at Rs 400 per dose for state government and Rs 600 for private hospital,” the petition said.

The petitioner asserted that it was the Central government’s duty to provide free vaccination but was not being done on account of shortage of sufficient number of doses.

The plea had claimed that while “people have no option but to cut their pockets”, the Centre was distributing vaccines to other countries.

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