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Bombay HC seeks details of manner, method of Covid vaccine allocation to states from Centre

The court asked the government to file an affidavit to also explain how manufacturers are informed about the requirements of each state and the time taken by them to deliver the allocated vaccines.

In an affidavit filed by the BMC, the court was informed that. so far, Mumbai has received a stock of 40,99,480 vaccines, including both Covishield and Covaxin.

THE BOMBAY High Court on Saturday directed the Central government to give details on the method and manner in which it allocates vaccines to states. The court asked the government to file an affidavit to also explain how manufacturers are informed about the requirements of each state and the time taken by them to deliver the allocated vaccines.

The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice G S Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Mumbai-resident Yogeeta Vanzara raising several issues related to CoWin app facilitating the vaccination and other administrative issues.

Lawyer Jamsheed Master, appearing for the petitioner, told the court that so far only six per cent of Mumbai’s population has received both the doses and the total doses required to vaccinate the entire 2.6 crore population of the city’s residents could take “another 3-4 years” if the current rate of vaccination continues.

In an affidavit filed by the BMC, the court was informed that. so far, Mumbai has received a stock of 40,99,480 vaccines, including both Covishield and Covaxin.

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The high court said that it cannot pass directions to the Central government on the modalities of the vaccination process. “Everything depends on the availability of vaccines. Once that increases and vaccines are available in ample, all these issues would get resolved, slots can be kept open 24×7,” the bench said.

It also enquired with the BMC on the progress of its procurement of vaccines. Senior counsel Anil Sakhare told the court that the process had failed as vaccine suppliers said they only consider procurement sought by the Central government.

An affidavit filed on behalf of the Commissioner of Health Service claimed that the allocation of the vaccine by the Central government “is not regular in terms of date and time and number of vaccines”. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh said the Central government was informing states in advance about the allocation.

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While the issue of slotting in advance was raised, Sakhare told the court that it was not possible as the BMC was not informed about the quantity and particulars of the vaccine supply when the stock is picked up from Pune.

The court directed the state Family Welfare Bureau, which is engaged in vaccine distribution, to file an affidavit on whether the BMC and other municipal corporations and eight divisions across the state can be informed about the particulars in advance to make the process smoother. The court will continue to hear the matter on August 2.

First published on: 17-07-2021 at 23:02 IST
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