The Madras High Court has raised concerns over the allocation of vaccine to the state of Tamil Nadu, and asked the Centre to revisit its policy. LiveLaw reported that the bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, orally remarked that it was not good for states to rival for obtaining vaccines, and that the Centre should allocate vaccines.
At the outset, the bench observed that both, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, have managed to tide over the second surge of Covid and “the worst, it is hoped, is over”. The Bench further observed that daily case count was reducing and the fatalities in the state and the UT were among the lowest in the country.
The court raised a bit of concern over oxygen supply to the state from the east which could get disrupted due to the Cyclone Yaas. But the Additional Solicitor-General appearing for the Centre assured the Court that the possible disruption due to Yaas has been taken into consideration by the Centre and alternative arrangements may be indicated. Moreover, the state submitted that Maharashtra had agreed to supply 20 MT of oxygen as well.
The court directed Centre and the State to take measures to allay people’s fears with respect to the vaccine and educate them. The court also raised the issue of shortage of drugs for the black fungus disease and the Centre assured that those drugs were being produced in bulk while reducing production of other drugs.
The court raised serious concerns about the vaccine supply to the state. “The future allocation of vaccines for Tamil Nadu appears to be somewhat disappointing. Though the Centre maintains that the allocation is based on the population of a State, the positivity rate prevailing in such State and like objective factors, the allocation to Tamil Nadu, as indicated in the Centre’s affidavit, may require to be revisited. However, there is hope that vaccines would be available in greater numbers upon the various manufacturing units augmenting their production facilities,” the court observed.
The court left the matter with regards to prioritising vaccination of people involved in certain vocations considering current shortage, up to the state.
The order may be read here: