Sonia Gandhi writes to PM Modi; asks rollback of discriminatory vaccine policy
On Thursday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and termed the new covid-19 vaccine policy as arbitrary and discriminatory. She urged the PM to reverse it and asked how “the Government of India can permit such brazen profiteering from people’s misery?”. Her letter came just a day after Serum Institute of India released its differential Covid-19 vaccine’s price list.
On Monday, the Centre announced that all adults above 18 years will now be eligible for vaccine. The Union government further announced that doses can be sold via the market from May 1. Reacting on Centre’s decision, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded a re-evaluation of the Centre’s modified vaccination policy. Gandhi asked the Centre to set a uniform price for the vaccines.
The Serum Institute of India (SII) revealed their price list of its COVID-19 vaccine ”Covishield” on Wednesday. SII set a price of Rs150 per dose for the Centre, Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals. Gandhi in her letter also referred to SII’s rate list and said, “This means that citizens will be compelled to pay these high rates to be vaccinated. This will also bleed the finances of state governments.”
She further added, “In these unprecedented times, how can the Government of India permit such brazen profiteering from people’s misery? At a time when medical resources are scarce, hospital beds are unavailable, oxygen supply and availability of essential medicine is dwindling rapidly, why is your Government allowing a policy that reeks of such insensitivity.”
The Congress earlier also demanded for formula of “one nation, one price” for vaccines. Gandhi raised questions in her letter and wrote, “..how can the same vaccine manufactured by the same company have three different prices?”
While stating that any reasonable person will agree on the benefit of a uniform price for vaccination, she requested the PM, “I would urge you to intervene immediately and reverse this ill-considered decision.”
She alleged that the Union government continues to follow discriminatory policy, which promises to exacerbate existing challenges and completely abandons its responsibility towards the youth.