Supreme Court: Centre must clarify the rationale for pricing of COVID-19 vaccines

Supreme Court: Centre must clarify the rationale for pricing of COVID-19 vaccines

Supreme Court on April 26 said Centre must clarify the rationale for pricing of COVID-19 vaccines and that modalities should be put in place to ensure shortage of doses would be looked into.

A bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud said that the union government should clarify the projected requirements of vaccine doses as the vaccination coverage is being expanded starting from May 1 to the 18-44 age group.

Everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1, the central government had announced on April 19 as it liberalised the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.

India has granted emergency use approval to three COVID-19 vaccines – Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V. All three jabs have a two-dose regimen.

The Serum Institute of India (SII), which produces Covishield, and Covaxin’s manufacturer Bharat Biotech have announced prices at which they will be selling doses to state governments and private hospitals. On April 26, the Centre had asked both vaccine manufacturers to lower the prices of their respective vaccines.