After Huge Criticism, Punjab Govt Reverses Decision To Sell Vaccines To Private Hospital

Picture credit: Twitter/ @BalbirSinghMLA

The Logical Indian Crew

After Huge Criticism, Punjab Govt Reverses Decision To Sell Vaccines To Private Hospital

The state government had sold 42,000 doses of Covaxin to over 20 private hospitals for ₹1,060 each and the hospital further sold it to the general public at a premium price of ₹1,560. The state had made a profit of ₹5.28 crore by selling the vaccines at ₹8.48 crore.

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A day after the Punjab government faced criticism for selling Covaxin to private hospitals at a premium rate, it decided to take back the stock of vaccines on Saturday, June 5.

As the issue snowballed into a controversy after the opposition leaders alleged of scam involved in the distribution of vaccines to the private hospitals, the Nodal Officer for Vaccination, Vikas Garg issued an order asking the hospitals to return the vaccine.

The state government had sold 42,000 doses of Covaxin to over 20 private hospitals for ₹1,060 each and they sold it to the general public at a premium price of ₹ 1,560. The state had made a profit of ₹5.28 crore by selling the Covaxin at ₹8.48 crore.

In the order, Garg said, "The order providing one-time limited vaccine doses to 18-44 years age group population through private hospitals has not been taken in the right spirit, and is hereby withdrawn. Further, it has been decided that the private hospitals should return forthwith all the vaccine doses available with them."

Reacting to the issue, Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said, "Sometimes wrong decisions are taken without any wrong intent. We will probe the matter," adding that the amount deposited by the hospitals for the vaccines would be refunded to them, reported The Indian Express.

According to Sidhu, by the time the recall order was issued by the government, out of the 42,000 doses, the hospitals had administered 600 vaccines. And he further claimed that the remaining vaccines would be used to administer for those between the age group of 18 and 44.

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