NEW DELHI: The IMA has demanded that the COVID-19 vaccine in the open market be routed through the Jan Aushadhi scheme to make it affordable for people, while requesting the Centre to ensure that the vaccine is given free to all people above the age of 18 in its facilities.
In a statement, the India Medical Association (IMA) said the cost involved for the mass universal vaccination for those above the age of 18 will be much lower than the economic gains achieved by bending the curve of COVID-19 pandemic.
Vaccination for the coronavirus infection should also be the priority of the government as vaccination not only enhances individual safety but also the community safety by paving way for herd immunity, the doctors' body said.
"The cost involved for the mass universal vaccination above the age of 18 vaccination, will be much lower than the economic gain we achieve by bending the curve of COVID pandemic," it said.
The association also demanded transparency in the vaccine pricing.
"Now as the manufacturers are allowed to fix the price, it is shocking to note the preemptive announcement of the Serum institute has predicted the price as Rs 600.
IMA demands transparency in this and request the government to ensure the vaccine is given free to all people above the age of 18," the doctors' body said.
The IMA demands that the vaccine in the open market is routed through the Jan Aushadhi scheme, where the vaccine can be made available in the prefixed price to all patients.
"If the price of the vaccine is not capped, and the 35000 crore earmarked in the budget is not utilised for giving the free vaccination to all, the good intention of the government will land up in disaster and the country will continue to suffer economic and health care crisis due to this pandemic," the IMA said.
It urged the prime minister to make the vaccination drive affordable, accessible and targeted.