Centre is encouraging black marketing of COVID vaccines: Kerala govt to HC

Kochi: The state government on Wednesday submitted its response to the Kerala High Court on the COVID-19 vaccination policy and said, “The Central government is encouraging black marketing. Why are different rates being fixed? Rates must be fixed based on the cost of production.”

A bench of Justices A Muhamed Mustaque and Kauser Edappagath was hearing the plea and posted the matter for further hearing on Tuesday.

The state government further said, “Private hospitals are able to procure from the black market but the government is not getting. Companies cannot be allowed to play in between the pandemic. How can private hospitals be allowed to the black market? Exorbitant prices being charged. Kerala has placed an order of one crore vaccines. Private hospitals are making orders and giving vaccines to their employees in priority and not maintaining the policy which says everyone has to register under Cowin app for the vaccine.”

Court asked the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Raj Kumar, who appeared for Centre, “why can’t states be given some priority if they are will to pay?”

Court also asked ASG to get instructions on the aspect of prioritisation of state orders for the vaccine.