How are private hospitals getting vaccines, Sisodia asks Centre

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‘Inoculation of 18-44 age group not happening in govt. schools for past five days’

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday questioned the Central government on how private healthcare facilities were getting COVID-19 vaccines, when the Delhi government is allegedly not getting them.

“I want to ask the Central government, if the Delhi government wants to vaccinate its youth, what is your problem? When the Delhi government says we want to vaccinate the youth, then you say that companies don’t have any vaccines. But the Central government arranges vaccines from these companies for private hospitals and they vaccinate people at high rates,” Mr. Sisodia said in a video statement.

“If the Central government doesn’t have vaccines for youth to give to State governments, then where are vaccines coming from to give to private hospitals?” he said.

Delhi has been facing a shortage of vaccines and vaccination of 18-44 age group has not been happening in government schools for the past five days.

“We are prepared to vaccinate all 92 lakh people in the 18-44 age group within three months, but we don’t have enough vaccines. We need 1 crore 84 lakh vaccine doses for that. However, we are being told that there isn’t enough availability of vaccines. How is it being made possible then, that private hospitals are being provided vaccine stocks to vaccinate young people at high costs?” the Minister said.

“Even on the sixth day in Delhi, vaccination for the youth at the government centres has been completely stopped. Government vaccination centres for youth are almost closed all over the country while private hospitals are getting plenty of vaccine doses,” AAP leader Atishi said.

There was no vaccine stock for the 18-44 age group for the sixth consecutive day, according to a bulletin by the government.

“Is this a scam happening in which State governments are not getting to provide free vaccination to people, however, vaccines are available in private hospitals at expensive prices,” the AAP leader asked.

Tax proposal

Mr. Sisodia also alleged that during a meeting of the GST Council on Friday, Finance Ministers of BJP-ruled States said that there should be a tax levied on vaccines and oximeters.

“As the Finance Minister of Delhi, I proposed to make vaccines and other essential health equipment tax-free. Finance Ministers of West Bengal, Punjab, Chhattisgarh too demanded for the same. However, when I proposed the need to make vaccines and COVID-19-related equipment tax-free, many Ministers of the BJP-ruled States resisted this suggestion and therefore, a consensus could not be concurred,” he said.


This article was originally published on The Hindu