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Key Takeaways

  • A petition has been filed with the Supreme Court asking for the reactivation of vaccine Public Sector Units (PSUs) to produce vaccines, including those for COVID-19.
  • The Plea has been filed by Advocate Satya Mitra
  • The Central Government is being directed to resurrect vaccine PSUs by ensuring the issuance of production licenses for GMP compliant units.
  • The petition concludes by stating that the Centre's duty to provide health coverage is required by the Constitution.
  • It is an obligation that cannot be entrusted solely to the private sector.

Petitioner’s Contention

  • On the orders of the Drug Controller General of India, three central level PSUs that supplied 80% of the UniversalisationImmunisation Program Vaccine supply were shut down unilaterally in 2008. The expert committee's report on the Javid Chowdhuary noted the closure's dubious existence.
  • It goes on to say that the closure was done to make it easier for the government to obtain vaccinations from the private sector at rates that rose by 52 percent in a year and by 250 percent in five years since the PSUs were shut down.
  • The petition claims that the January 2008 order of the DGCI was inspired and caused considerable harm to Indian people, claiming that it was unprecedented for a government to sabotage its own production and that the pretext of GMP non-compliance can be rectified by merely updating production facilities.
  • “Respondents are actively underutilizing their own capabilities in the Public Sector Units, considering their capacity to deliver, by diverting their orders to many private sector corporations, as shown by the inactive status of these institutes.”
  • The petition continues by stating that the Centre's duty to provide health coverage is legally required and that it is a responsibility that cannot be delegated solely to the private sector.
  • Furthermore, owing to the private monopoly, misinformation has resulted in an ongoing scarcity of the Coronavirus vaccine.

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