New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre how illiterate people will register themselves at Covid vaccination application COWIN for inoculation.
“How Centre will ensure registration for vaccines for illiterate people considering the fact that COWIN app registration is mandatory,” Justice DY Chandrachud of a three-judge bench questioned as per LiveLaw.
The court also flagged concerns about SC/STs and disenfranchised people in the Covid vaccination coverage and asked the Centre why it has not following a ‘national immunisation program’.
The bench also raised concerns over the differential pricing of vaccines.
“Manufacturers are charging Rs 150 from the Centre but Rs 300 or 400 from states…The price difference becomes 30 to 40,000 crores. There is no point for the price difference,” Justice S Ravindra Bhat stated.
The court asked the Centre why it is not invoking its powers under Drugs Price Control Act to regulate prices of the Covid vaccines.
It also questioned the Centre for not buying 100 per cent vaccines from the producers.
“Vaccine manufacturing is publicly funded and hence, vaccines become public goods. So, why not Centre buy full doses of vaccines,” the bench stated.
The queries from the Apex Court came during the hearing of suo moto case over the Covid crisis and related issues (In Re Distribution of Essential Supplies and Services during Pandemic).
The Centre has recently announced that it will buy 50 per cent of vaccines from the Centre while the rest can be purchased by States and open markets.
From May 1, all adults are eligible for Covid vaccination.