Supreme Court slams Centre’s paid Covid-19 vaccination policy for 18-44 age group

Prime News, National (New Delhi), June 3:- The Supreme Court on Wednesday said paid Covid-19 vaccination policy for 18-44 age group is “arbitrary and irrational”. The Supreme Court’s observation came days after it said that vaccine prices should be uniform across the country.

Currently, the Centre’s vaccination policy provides for free vaccination for those 45 and above and a paid system for those in 18-44 age group.

The Supreme Court noted that the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic affected many people in the 18-44 age group, many of whom developed severe complications.

Health experts have pointed out recently that unlike the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic when the elderly and people with comorbidities were more affected, younger people were more affected in the second nationwide surge in coronavirus infections.

“Unlike the prior policy, the Liberalized Vaccination policy does not prioritise persons with co-morbidities and other diseases, persons with disabilities, or any other vulnerable groups. This is especially at issue because the experience of the second wave of the pandemic has provided experiential learning that the Covid-19 virus is capable of mutation and now poses a threat to persons in this age group (18-44) as well,” the Supreme Court said.

The Supreme Court has sought a response from the central government asking it to clarify how Rs 35,000 crore earmarked for Covid-19 vaccine procurement in the Union Budget was being spent. The court asked why the same could not be utilised for vaccinating persons in the 18-44 age group. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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