The Allahabad High Court today raised eyebrows on the issue of vaccine manufacturing in India.
Amid the rampant shortage of vaccine doses across the nation, a Division Bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar said,
“one cannot understand as to why the Government of ours which is a welfare state is not trying to manufacture the vaccine itself on a large scale.“
It suggested that big medical companies which are working in the country and may not have their own vaccines—may take the formula from just any of the vaccine manufacturers in the world and start producing the vaccine. “In this way, they would help the country to meet the shortage of vaccines which it is facing today,” the Bench remarked.
In opined that to avert any further havoc that may be created by Covid-19, it is absolutely necessary to vaccinate each and every individual in the country; and that may be possible only with the help of an “excellent medical infrastructure”.
“Since the vaccine producing countries are advocating for expansion of vaccine manufacturing and distribution to meet the challenge of global health crisis caused by Covid pandemic and in that process are agreed to the waiver of intellectual property protection, our central agencies may give the green signal to various manufacturers who have the infrastructure to manufacture the vaccines on a large scale so that they may manufacture vaccines of whichever kind they feel suitable.
The vaccines may be first vigorously tested and only thereafter may be given out for use by the public. For this various incentives may be announced,” the Bench suggested.
It also said,
(i) Such people who might like to buy the vaccines for the havenots, may be allowed to do so and may also be given certain benefits under the Income Tax Act. In the global tenders, the Government after getting the reasonable prices may negotiate with the world manufacturers and try to buy as many vaccines as can be bought from wherever the vaccines are available.
(ii) Big business houses who take various advantages under the taxation laws by donating to various religious organizations may be asked to divert their funds to vaccines.
However, these are only suggestions and the Court has asked the Government to check the viability of having them.
“By the next date, a report may be submitted before this Court. While preparing the report, the Central Government may not depend on its bureaucrats only. It may use the best brains which might be available to it,” it said.
Case Title: In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres…