Legal action will be taken against hotels providing Vaccine Packages: Dr. Harsh Vardhan

It all started with a media of a hotel presenting a vaccination package. HITEC City of Hyderabad caught attention on social media when politicians engaged in a hot discussion over it. Starting at ₹2,999, an advertisement for the vaccine package went viral which included vaccination from experts, a comfortable stay, breakfast, dinner, clinical consultation, and Wi-Fi. After the Union health ministry informed about the legal actions against the hotels offering vaccination packages, the opposition leaders jumped in, mentioning the shortage of vaccines across the country.

According to an official release by Union Health Ministry addressed to states and Union territories, the collaboration of some private hospitals with hotels for providing Covid vaccination packages is against the rules and guidelines issued according to National Covid Vaccination Program. The health ministry clarified it permitted four approaches for Vaccination Program. They are — government centers, private centers by private hospitals, workplace centers which will be taken up by government hospitals, and private companies, which will be taken up by private hospitals. Apart from this, the Union Health Ministry also approved vaccination centers near to home for differently abled elderly people organized by group housing society, community centers, RWA offices, panchayat bhawans, old age homes, schools/colleges, etc. temporarily. The Union Health Ministry strictly informed that there are no other alternatives apart from these avenues to carry out National Covid Vaccination Program.

Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan also tweeted about the same. He tweeted, “The vaccination packages in hotels are against the rules, legal actions will be taken! Some hospitals have collaborated with hotels for vaccination packages and it’s extremely unfortunate. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has written a letter to states and Union territories asking them to take strict actions against the vaccine package providers.”

Following Union Health Ministry and Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan’s tweet, the Aam Aadmi Party attacked Union Government. AAP spokesperson, Raghav Chadha tweeted, “On one hand, Central Government has ensured no shortage of vaccines in Private sector – with ‘vaccination packages’ in luxury hotels. On the other hand, State Government run vaccination centers which provide free doses are shut due to non-availability of vaccines.”

In his press conference, Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, attacked the Union Government for mismanagement and held it responsible for a shortage of jabs. He stated, “Due to Union government’s mismanagement, states don’t have vaccines for the age group of 18-45. And hence, states are compelled to shut down vaccination centers for the same age group. The Centre has informed us that we’ll get jabs for the 18-45 age group in June but not before 10th June and in a limited supply. We promised to vaccinate people within three months, but the Centre exported did not place timely orders for exporting vaccines. Hence there is a shortage of jabs.” He further added, “What’s wrong with Central Government if we want to provide jabs to our people. When we ask for vaccines, the Union Government responds by saying there is a shortage of vaccines, but they do provide the jabs to private hospitals. What sort of setting is this?”

On April 19, 2021, the Union Government made an announcement that stated that states along with industrial establishments and private hospitals and procure jabs directly from the vaccine manufacturers. The Centre also informed that the vaccine manufacturers will have to supply 50% of their monthly production of jabs to Union Government and they can supply the remaining 50% of jabs to that private sector and States.

DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author

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