“Poor people cannot afford Covid-19 vaccine of Rs.1200”: HC to Karnataka govt

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The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday raised a question about the policy of the state government of limiting the vaccine administration to the second dosage beneficiaries and for people in the 18-44 age group, to get vaccines from private hospitals by paying more than Rs 1,000.

The court inquired whether such kind of rule will not be a violation of the Constitution.

A division bench led by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka along with Justice Aravind Kumar was hearing a suo motu case registered according to the letters of the complaint received by the Court.

The court asked the policy of 18-44 years category to obtain vaccines from private hospitals and restricting the government vaccine stock for second dose recipients would not violate the Article 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution.

The observation noted was the poor people, particularly people from the slums will not be able to afford Rs 1,200 for Covid-19 vaccine, while the privileged people can get vaccinated after paying the heavy price.

It asked, “Can the central government remain silent on the matter?”

The bench asked if the government could allot vaccine to private hospitals from the 50 per cent quota set by vaccine manufacturers. It also asked if a person who has received a preliminary dose in the private hospital can be eligible to receive the second dose from the government hospital. To which, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati stated people can get the second dose from any of the hospitals.

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