Kejriwal’s charge on vaccination price is “patently false”, says Health Minister
Arvind Kejriwal and Dr Harsh Vardhan (file photo)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s propensity for misleading statements once again came to the fore as he announced the plans of his government to vaccinate Capital’s people.
Making an appeal to vaccine manufacturers, Kejriwal said: “Bring down the price to Rs 150 per does. You have an entire lifetime to earn profits. This is not the time to do that when there is a raging pandemic. I also appeal to the Central government to cap the price (of vaccines) if needed,” he said in a virtual press conference.
"One vaccine producer said that they'll provide vaccines to the state governments at ₹ 400 a dose and the second producer said that they'll provide at ₹ 600 a dose. Both of them will keep the price at ₹ 150 a dose for the central government. I hope the prices remain the same for all," added the Chief Minister.
Now, the Rs 150 a dose was a price negotiated in advance by the Centre with the manufacturers. The next lot of vaccination to Centre would be on rates par with what’s being charged with States.
Further, Centre’s vaccines is not causing States a dime. It’s being given free to them. Only those who are private providers are charging a sum, as it would be with the States.
Centre in any case is offering vaccines free to Delhi for citizens above 45 years in age. Private providers are charging a sum but it’s far less than what’s been charged for RT-PCR Tests: And to it, Delhi or any other State has had no problem.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said the argument that the Centre was getting vaccines cheaper than States was “patently false.”
“The actual situation is that States are getting one guaranteed channel of free vaccine supply, while it can simultaneously procure vaccines from another channel as per its aspirations and commitment to its people,” Dr Harsh Vardhan wrote in a Facebook post.
Kejriwal has also announced that vaccination for all above 18 would be free of cost in Delhi.
"Delhi government has decided to provide free vaccines to everyone above 18 years of age. Today we have given the approval for the purchase of 1.34 crore vaccines. We will make an effort to ensure that it is purchased soon and administered at the earliest to people," Mr Kejriwal announced.
This is likely to be only for Delhi Government-run hospitals. Those going to private hospitals will still have to pay for their Covid shots.
Vaccination will be open to all from Saturday.
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