New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday rebuked Centre’s new vaccination policy, saying the BJP-led government has “abdicated its responsibility of providing free vaccines to people between 18 and 45”.
It is to be mentioned that Centre’s new policy has divided vaccine procurement into two halves: 50 per cent for the Centre, and 50 per cent for the open market. Through the second — non-Government channels – state governments, private hospitals, and industries that have facilities to administer the vaccine, will be able to procure doses directly from manufacturers.
Following the announcement of the new rules, the Serum Institute of India, which manufactures the ‘Covishield’ vaccine, had revised its prices to Rs 150 for the Centre, Rs 400 for state governments and Rs 600 for private hospitals.
Saying there “is no justification towards such arbitrary distinction”, Sonia asked “How can the same vaccine be sold at three different prices? How can the Government of India permit such brazen profiteering from people’s misery?”
How can the same vaccine manufactured by the same company have three different prices? There is no rationale or justification that allows for such arbitrary distinction: @INCIndia president Sonia Gandhi in letter to @PMOIndia @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/wWrF11xkzy
— Manoj C G (@manojcg4u) April 22, 2021
In her letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress chief wrote, “At a time when medical resources are scarce, hospital beds are unavailable and oxygen supply and availability of essential medicines are dwindling rapidly, the government shouldn’t allow a policy that reeks of insensitivity. Even with regards to 50% quota for vaccines available with the Centre, the allocation must be transparent and equitable.”
The statement comes barely a week after Sonia Gandhi had hit out at the Centre for “mismanaging the situation” with respect to the Covid-19 vaccination strategy.
Urging the the Centre to re-evaluate the vaccination policy, the Mrs. Gandhi said that it should be available at a “uniform price” and the nation’s goal should be to inoculate everyone “irrespective of their economic circumstances”.