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Covid-19: Finally, PM steers a U-turn on vaccine policy after SC seeks plan

Free vaccines for all has been a demand raised by many states, Opposition leaders including four CMs consistently asked the Centre to start free mass vaccination

Sabrangindia 07 Jun 2021

Image Courtesy:naidunia.com

The Union Government will give supplies of Covid-19 free of cost to all states, announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, June 7. Private hospitals will still be able to directly procure 25% vaccines but will now be allowed to levy a maximum service charge of Rs 150 only, over and above the cost at which they buy it from the manufacturers.

Free Vaccines for all has been a demand raised by many states, and senior Opposition leaders including four CMs had been consistently asking the Centre to procure vaccines, start free mass vaccination, pause Central Vista project, give food to the poor, among other solutions proposed in multiple letters to the PM. The latest was on May 13, when 12 Opposition party leaders, including four CMs wrote to the PM asking the Centre to procure vaccines from global and domestic sources and begin a free, universal mass vaccination campaign across the country. Mass vaccination has globally emerged as one of the best ways to flatten the Covid-19 curve which continues to rise sharply in India. The massive vaccine shortage  however, had forced the vaccine for all programmes to be paused in many states across the country just days after it began.

On June 7, Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally agreed to two of the three demands so far. PM Modi also announced free ration for the poor under Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana to be given till Diwali this year. He addressed the nation on Monday when many states ended the stringent lockdowns after months as finally a dip in new Covid-19 cases is being reported.

The PM said that the “Centre accepted the state's demand on vaccine drive and changed policy in May,” though he still made a critical mention of politics being played over vaccines. Under this new centralised vaccine policy, the PM said that “25% percent of the vaccination work with states will now be handled by the Centre, and it will be implemented in the coming two weeks. Both State and Centre to work as per new guidelines in the coming two weeks.” 

From June 21, everyone above the age of 18 years will get free vaccines. He said supplies of vaccines will also increase in the coming days and a vaccine that can be administered via the nose was also being worked on. That once ready will increase the coverage net of the vaccination drive. The PM addressed the nation on a Monday, when Sunday’s low testing normally shows a dip in new cases, in the past 24 hours the number was 1,00,636, reportedly the lowest in 61 days. 

A‘U-turn’ in the vaccine policy 

The PM’s announcement of the ‘U-turn’ in the vaccine policy also comes just days after the Supreme Court bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Ravindra Bhat and Nageswara Rao also questioned the Centre on how it plans to manage the logistics and storage of vaccines when the Centre was not procuring them in the Phase III. The court cited various government reports to demonstrate the lack of access to the internet among the larger population, and how this will impinge their right to equality and right to health. The court sought clarifications from the Centre on how it plans to manage the logistics of vaccines. The court was certainly more inclined towards the Centre procuring the vaccine to ensure that cold storage facilities that are required to store vaccines are not overwhelmed. The court asked the Centre to provide the many clarifications on logistics involved including cold storage management for vaccines.

Related

Using digital portal for vaccination will impede universal immunisation: SC
Covid-19: India’s Opposition leaders suggest solutions, will PM finally listen? 
How will an angry letter to an Opposition party help curb Covid ...Ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply to hospitals: 13 Opposition parties tell Centre

Covid-19: Finally, PM steers a U-turn on vaccine policy after SC seeks plan

Free vaccines for all has been a demand raised by many states, Opposition leaders including four CMs consistently asked the Centre to start free mass vaccination

Image Courtesy:naidunia.com

The Union Government will give supplies of Covid-19 free of cost to all states, announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, June 7. Private hospitals will still be able to directly procure 25% vaccines but will now be allowed to levy a maximum service charge of Rs 150 only, over and above the cost at which they buy it from the manufacturers.

Free Vaccines for all has been a demand raised by many states, and senior Opposition leaders including four CMs had been consistently asking the Centre to procure vaccines, start free mass vaccination, pause Central Vista project, give food to the poor, among other solutions proposed in multiple letters to the PM. The latest was on May 13, when 12 Opposition party leaders, including four CMs wrote to the PM asking the Centre to procure vaccines from global and domestic sources and begin a free, universal mass vaccination campaign across the country. Mass vaccination has globally emerged as one of the best ways to flatten the Covid-19 curve which continues to rise sharply in India. The massive vaccine shortage  however, had forced the vaccine for all programmes to be paused in many states across the country just days after it began.

On June 7, Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally agreed to two of the three demands so far. PM Modi also announced free ration for the poor under Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana to be given till Diwali this year. He addressed the nation on Monday when many states ended the stringent lockdowns after months as finally a dip in new Covid-19 cases is being reported.

The PM said that the “Centre accepted the state's demand on vaccine drive and changed policy in May,” though he still made a critical mention of politics being played over vaccines. Under this new centralised vaccine policy, the PM said that “25% percent of the vaccination work with states will now be handled by the Centre, and it will be implemented in the coming two weeks. Both State and Centre to work as per new guidelines in the coming two weeks.” 

From June 21, everyone above the age of 18 years will get free vaccines. He said supplies of vaccines will also increase in the coming days and a vaccine that can be administered via the nose was also being worked on. That once ready will increase the coverage net of the vaccination drive. The PM addressed the nation on a Monday, when Sunday’s low testing normally shows a dip in new cases, in the past 24 hours the number was 1,00,636, reportedly the lowest in 61 days. 

A‘U-turn’ in the vaccine policy 

The PM’s announcement of the ‘U-turn’ in the vaccine policy also comes just days after the Supreme Court bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Ravindra Bhat and Nageswara Rao also questioned the Centre on how it plans to manage the logistics and storage of vaccines when the Centre was not procuring them in the Phase III. The court cited various government reports to demonstrate the lack of access to the internet among the larger population, and how this will impinge their right to equality and right to health. The court sought clarifications from the Centre on how it plans to manage the logistics of vaccines. The court was certainly more inclined towards the Centre procuring the vaccine to ensure that cold storage facilities that are required to store vaccines are not overwhelmed. The court asked the Centre to provide the many clarifications on logistics involved including cold storage management for vaccines.

Related

Using digital portal for vaccination will impede universal immunisation: SC
Covid-19: India’s Opposition leaders suggest solutions, will PM finally listen? 
How will an angry letter to an Opposition party help curb Covid ...Ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply to hospitals: 13 Opposition parties tell Centre

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