‘Scam’: Opposition Leaders Slam ‘Differential Pricing’ for Vaccine
The SII said Covishield vaccine will be sold for Rs 400 to state governments and for Rs 600 to private hospitals.
After Serum Institute of India (SII) announced the cost for the Covishield vaccine for states and Centre, several Opposition leaders have criticised the incumbent central government of ‘non uniformity’ and ‘unfair’ pricing.
The SII said on Wednesday that its Covishield vaccine will be sold for Rs 400 per dose to the state governments and for Rs 600 to the private hospitals. The price for the same vaccine has been fixed at Rs 150 per dose for the central government.
Criticising the new vaccination pricing, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "Disaster of the country, opportunity for friends of Modi. Injustice of the central government,” with the hashtag #VaccinationDiscrimination.
Senior party leader Sonia Gandhi on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying, “Policy implies GoI has abdicated responsibility to provide free vaccination for these citizens...Urge you to intervene and reverse ill-considered decision.”
"This is not the time to do business. It is a time when everybody should work together for the betterment of human beings," West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in a press conference in Malda district on Wednesday evening. She also tweeted, “One nation, one party, one leader shouts BJP all the time but to save lives they can’t have one price for vaccine.”
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury called the policy ‘another scam in the making’, while DMK President MK Stalin called it ‘discriminatory and said it defeats the objective of universal vaccination.
The SII issued the statement on vaccine prices after the Centre allowed vaccination for all persons above the age of 18 from 1 May.
The decision was announced after a meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with pharma companies, doctors, Cabinet ministers in charge of health, and officials spanning multiple nodal ministries.
(With IANS inputs)
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