Covid: Sonia Gandhi requests PM to reverse new vaccination policy
Sonia Gandhi on Thursday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reverse the new vaccination policy under which the Centre has washed its hands of the inoculation of adults between the age of 18 and 45 years.
Announcing that vaccination would be open to all adults from May 1, the Centre had said on Monday that those between 18 and 45 years could be immunised by the state governments or could pay and get themselves inoculated at private hospitals. The prices of the vaccines for the states and the private hospitals would be announced by the vaccine makers, it said.
“The policy implies that the government of India has abdicated its responsibility to provide free vaccination for citizens between the age group of 18 to 45 years. This is complete abandonment of the government’s responsibility towards our youth,” the Congress president wrote in a letter to Modi.
“As a consequence of this policy, the vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, announced a differential pricing mechanism, Rs 150 per dose for the central government, Rs 400 per dose for state government and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals,” she added.
“This means citizens will be compelled to pay these high rates to be vaccinated. This will also bleed the finances of state governments. This begs the question, how can the same vaccine manufactured by the same company have three different prices?”
The goal of the nation should be to ensure vaccination for all Indians above the age of 18, irrespective of their economic condition, Sonia said. The price of vaccination should be uniform, she added.
“How can the government of India permit such brazen profiteering from people’s misery?” she asked.
Sonia said the arbitrary and discriminatory policy would exacerbate existing challenges.“At a time when medical resources are scarce, hospital beds are unavailable, oxygen supply and availability of essential medicine is dwindling rapidly, why is your government allowing a policy that reeks of such insensitivity?”