Many Congress party leaders tweeted an infographic with the text saying Congress provided free of cost vaccines for 12 preventable diseases while the government is charging Rs 250 per dose for the COVID-19 vaccine at private hospitals.
The infographic is shared with the caption, "If only BJP was humble enough to learn from capable & visionary leadership. The difference is clear!#IndiaNeedsMoreVaccines#NationalVaccinationDay."
Lhingkim H Shingnaisui Kim, Secretary All India Mahila Congress, also tweeted the same post.
The official Twitter handle of the Indian National Congress (INC) Andhra Pradesh tweeted about the same infographic.
The post was also tweeted by many other Congress leaders and supporters.
While Congress provided vaccines of 12 diseases for free, BJP is charging for coronavirus vaccine in private hospitals.
The infographic shows a comparison between the price of coronavirus vaccines being provided in private hospitals with vaccines of 12 preventable diseases purportedly provided for free during the Congress regime to portray that the BJP government isn't providing vaccines free of cost while Congress provided vaccines against 12 diseases free of cost. The Logical Indian Fact Check team found that the infographic is misleading.
The 12 preventable vaccines that Congress is talking about come under the National Health Mission's Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) which is one of the largest public health programmes launched in 1989-90 and covered all districts in the country. UIP targetted to vaccinate close to 2.67 crore newborns and 2.9 crore pregnant women annually in all districts of the nation.
According to National Health Mission, the government provides the following vaccines to children and newborn: BCG vaccines, Hepatitis B vaccines, Rotavirus vaccines, oral poliovirus vaccines, inactivated Polio Vaccine, Pentavalent vaccine (which protects from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B), Measles vaccine, Vitamin A, DPT Vaccine (which protects against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus), Tetanus Vaccine. The website of National Health Mission mentions that UIP provides free of cost vaccinations against 12 preventable diseases.
Vaccines under UIP during Congress regime:
In 2013, UIP provided eight vaccines that helped to immunize children against nine diseases. In 2013, the Congress-led UPA government was in the Centre.
Vaccines provided under UIP during BJP led NDA government:
According to the PDF 'FAQs on Immunization 2017' present on the website NHM.gov.in, we found the government now provides vaccines against 12 viruses. IPV (2015), Rotavirus Vaccine(2016), Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (2017) and Measles-Rubella (2017) are the latest vaccines that were introduced under the UIP scheme during the regime of the BJP led NDA government.
In the PDF 'FAQs on Immunization 2017', it is clearly mentioned that 'Under India's Universal Immunization Programme 12 different vaccines are provided to beneficiaries free of cost, through the government health system.'
The Logical Indian spoke to an official in the health department of West Bengal, who confirmed that the vaccines under UIP are still given free of cost in government hospitals.
Alt News contacted a spokesperson of one of India's largest private hospital players who said, "Private hospitals do not provide vaccines for free. They never have. However, government hospitals do."
Hence, it is clear that in both the UPA and NDA regime, the vaccines under the Universal Immunization Programme were/are free of cost in government hospitals; and were/are chargeable under both the governments in private hospitals.
Congress Also Mislead About COVID-19 Vaccines:
The Logical Indian found out a press release by the Ministry of Health, and Family Welfare published on February 28, 2021. According to the press release, all vaccines provided to beneficiaries at the Government Health Facilities will be entirely free of cost. At the same time, Private Facilities cannot charge the beneficiary a sum above Rs. 250 per person per dose (Rs 150/- for vaccines and Rs 100/- as operational charges).
Hence, the coronavirus vaccines are free of cost in government hospitals.
A similar claim was made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, where she claimed that the vaccines of coronavirus were not free. The Logical Indian had then debunked the claim, which can be read here.
Alt News has already done Fact Check on this.
If you have any news that you believe needs to be fact-checked, please email us at email@example.com or WhatsApp at 6364000343.