[WSMDiscuss] Vaccination in India: Issues before the Supreme Court

Sukla Sen sukla.sen at gmail.com
Wed Jun 9 11:47:42 CEST 2021

The vaccination policy in India, as it appears, is slated to have three

Under the phase (i) - that had been launched mid-January this year (ref.: <
https://www.unicef.org/india/stories/covid-19-vaccine-launch-india>), the
Centre was monopolising all available vaccine doses from the two producers
in the country and then disbursing as per its sweet will - with no norms
When the severe scarcity of vaccine doses became all too stark, the phase
(ii) was initiated (w.e.f. May 1, ref.: <
https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1712710>) under which
the Centre would keep 50% of the vaccines and disburse as per its own sweet
For the rest 50%, the states will compete among themselves and with various
private entities. For each vaccine there're, now, three levels of selling
price by the producers.
(Ref.: <https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/SqAGrD-JtK0/m/0ohtVNwbAQAJ

Moreover, quite strikingly, when vaccine supply was already running short,
a new category - from 18 to under 45 years of age, was made eligible for
vaccines - without any augmentation in supply.
That sparked off a regular chaos.
*Not because the Modi regime didn't foresee it, but because the regime
precisely intended it.*
*In order to shift the blame of gross vaccine mismanagement from itself to
the states - to the non-BJP states, in particular.*
It was also meant to provide an opportunity to the two vaccine producers
and other private enterprises to make bumper profits.

Now, with the Supreme Court coming in between and taking a tough posture
(ref.: <
- a sort of course correction (ref.: <
https://groups.google.com/g/greenyouth/c/YKiZNo4ncbE> and <
https://www.bbc.com/news/57400891>) - under a phase (iii) to be launched on
the coming June 21st has been put forward.
I, for one'd guess, that the specifics would get further updated as and
when the Court delivers its final verdict.

The basic problem is that there's serious shortage of vaccines - in India
and globally.
Apparently, the regime was only interested in mopping up cut-money -
following the dictum that no good crisis should be wasted; didn't spend a
rupee to ensure augmentation of production.
India is, btw, the largest manufacturer of vaccines in the world (<
https://www.unicef.org/india/stories/covid-19-vaccine-launch-india>) and
has long experience in mass vaccination - since well before Independence
(ref.: <
That initial advantage was simply wasted.
It, perhaps, believed in its own bluff that Taali/Thaali/Diya is enough to
tackle the pandemic.
The visuals of dead bodies burning in parking slots and floating in the
Ganga have, however, made a difference.

*The basic issue is that (i) the production of vaccines has got to be
*And (ii) the produced vaccines are to be fairly, efficiently and
transparently disbursed.*
*Hope the Supreme Court - now, mercifully rid of Gogoi and Bobde, would pay
attention to both the aspects*.
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