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Overview

  • The West Bengal Government through an affidavit has requested the Supreme Court in the suo moto case taken up by the Court to ask the Central Government for uniform rates of the COVID Vaccine.

What Is The Issue

  • The issue concerns the prices of the COVID Vaccine.
  • The Central Government and the State Government are being sold the Vaccine at different prices by the Manufacturers.
  • The Prices of the Vaccine to the Central Government is lower than the prices for the State government.
  • As of now, the Center is to buy 50% of Vaccines for the vulnerable group that is above 45 years of age and frontline workers and health workers, etc. and they will be vaccinated by the Central Government for free.
  • For the age group of 18-45 years of age, the State government is responsible and it is at the discretion of the State government, whether they want to provide free vaccine or not.

West Bengal To Apex Court

  • The State of West Bengal through an affidavit has made prayers and suggestions to the Supreme Court in the suo moto case taken up by the Court concerning the distribution of essential supplies during COVID.
  • The State first of all has asked the Supreme Court to direct the Central Government to keep aside the different prices of COVID Vaccines and introduce a Uniform Rate.
  • Pointing out the price difference, the State of West Bengal has said that prices will be double for them as each person requires two doses.
  • The State has further submitted in its affidavit that the basis on arriving on a figure of Rs. 300 for Covishield and Rs. 600 for Covaxin is completely opaque and it is also higher than the rate at which vaccines are provided all around the world.
  • The State has also said that the basis of different prices by the manufacturers is not founded on any intelligible differentia and is per se manifestly arbitrary and discriminatory.
  • The State also submitted that COVID-19 is an inter-state communicable disease and given the same, the Union Government of India must take responsibility for the coverage of the vaccine.

What do you think about the different prices provided by the manufacturers for COVID Vaccine?

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