A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, also asked how the center and states will guarantee the illiterate vaccination registry: “What about the marginalized population and SC / ST? Should they be exposed to private hospitals?”it asked.
The Supreme Court on Friday asked the center to consider the National Immunization Program to vaccinate all citizens against the new coronavirus for free as the poor may not be able to afford the vaccine.
A bench, headed by Judge DY Chandrachud, asked how the center and the states are doing. guarantees the vaccination balance of illiterate people. “What about the marginalized population and SC / ST? Should they be at the mercy of private hospitals?”
The court also asked the center why there are different prices for the vaccines proposed by the manufacturers, Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech, for the center and states. While the center has to spend 150 rupees per vaccine dose. States must spend Rs 300 and Rs 400 on Covishield from SII and Covaxin from Bharat Biotech, respectively.
The court said private vaccine manufacturers are not allowed to decide what status to get and how much. “Why should there be two prizes? Why not follow the pattern of the national vaccination program?” asked the court.
The court also wanted to know if the walk-in vaccination facility will continue after May 1. From May 2, the current vaccination campaign against Covid-19 will be extended to the population between 18 and 45 years of age. older than 45 years of age were eligible to receive the vaccine.
India has a universal immunization program launched in 1978 that is gradually making various vaccines available to babies, children and pregnant women.
The bench raised questions about the centre’s actions to cope with the Covid-19 crisis and proposed setting up a display mechanism for real-time updates of the centre’s oxygen supply for states.
There was no shortage of medical oxygen in the country and the availability of Covid-19 aid was increased. The center presented a powerpoint presentation to the bank and stated that it had improved oxygen production in the country from approximately 6,000 tons per day in August 2020 to 9,000 tons per day by now.
The centre’s presentation was in response to the April 22nd Supreme Court order that the government was expected to come up with a “national plan” for the distribution of essential services and supplies, including oxygen and drugs.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the center, said Delhi cannot raise the amount of oxygen due to logistical issues.
To this end, the court asked the Delhi government to work with the center in dealing with the current Covid crisis.
Scheduling the next hearing on the matter on May 10, the Supreme Court said it would require a major policy rethink by the center.