Covid-19 & Black Fungus Cases in Maharashtra, Delhi, UP, Kerala, Tamil Nadu Today Latest News

A man sterilizes Shivaji Nagar BMC-run maternity home on Friday. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

The head of India’s Covid-19 task force on Friday said the decision on vaccinating children is being “continuously examined” and emphasised that once the rollout for the children takes place, all of them have to be covered at the same time.

Asked if the government is mulling a plan to procure the Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine approved for the 12-18 years age group in the US, Dr V K Paul said India will require approximately 25-26 crore doses to vaccinate the children.

Meanwhile, cornered over selling Covid vaccines to private hospitals at a profit, the Punjab government on Friday ordered that the doses be returned with immediate effect. The government had sold 42,000 doses of Covaxin — out of the 1.14 lakh it bought on May 27 from Bharat Biotech at Rs 420 per dose — to over 20 private hospitals for Rs 1,060 each. The hospitals had, in turn, charged recipients Rs 1,560 for a dose.

The government had thus made a profit of Rs 5.28 crore — buying the vaccines for Rs 3.20 crore, and selling them for Rs 8.48 crore. As the issue snowballed into a controversy, Nodal Officer for Vaccination Vikas Garg issued an order asking private hospitals to return the vaccines. “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to 18-44 years age group population through private hospitals has not been taken in the right spirit, and is hereby withdrawn.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…”

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