West Bengal moves SC, seeks universal vaccine drive

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By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: West Bengal government on Friday has approached the Supreme Court seeking directions to disband phase 3 of the Covid-19 vaccination policy and adopt and implement a uniform policy by doing away with the differential pricing mechanism.“The Government of India must take urgent steps on a war footing basis to ensure that Covid-19 vaccines are made available to the states for free decentralized distribution to the masses without any further delay,” the plea said. For ensuring the same, the Centre should place a single bulk order for Covid-19 vaccines from both domestic and foreign manufacturers to ensure universal coverage at the shortest possible time frame, it was contended.

The State government further prayed that differential pricing mechanism for Covid-19 vaccines should be set aside and the price for Covid-19 vaccines should be capped at a uniform price of Rs 150 per dose. The current vaccination policy, the application alleged, will lead to an inequitable distribution of vaccines and defeat the very objective of universal coverage, which is crucial for achieving herd immunity. This is because States will be made to compete with each other for obtaining the vaccines. The state government said it had, on April 29, placed orders for 1 crore doses of Covishield vaccines and 1 crore doses of Covaxin to Bharat Biotech at prices of Rs 300 and Rs 600 per dose, respectively.



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