The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre why it is not following the national immunisation programme policy in its Covid-19 vaccination drive where the Centre will buy all vaccines from the manufacturers. Taking note of the difference in the price that the Centre and the state governments will have to pay for one dose of vaccines, Justice DY Chandrachud said the vaccines are ultimately for the people of the country.
A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat heard a suo motu case in connection with the ongoing pandemic situation of the country. As the bench ruled that there should be no clampdown on Covid-related information on social media, it deliberated on a few other aspects of Covid-19 management.
Here are the questions the Supreme Court bench asked the Centre:
> What is being done to provide treatment to healthcare professionals who are contacting Covid-19?
> How much investment has the Centre made into the vaccine companies and given advances in the last year? What has been the financial contribution by the Union govt in research etc in the development of vaccines?
> Can a mechanism be developed to show real-time updates regarding the allocation of oxygen?
> How will the Centre ensure registration for vaccines for illiterate people and those without internet access as registration through Co-Win is mandatory in the third phase of vaccination?
> Will one state get priority access over another in getting the vaccines?
> How will the Centre ensure equity by private vaccine manufacturers when it is buying only 50 per cent of the doses?
> Has the centre considered invoking Section 92 of the patents act and issue compulsory licenses so that drugs can be manufactured while the royalty is sorted?
> Has the testing labs been directed to track the mutant variant of Covid-19?
> How is the Centre trying to regulate hospital charges? Is there a national policy?
> Why are we paying so much for this vaccine which AstraZeneca is providing at a far lower price to the US citizens?