Appeal to the AP High Court for Direct Delivery of Covid Vaccines to States, Deregulation of Essential Medicines

P. Subrahmanya Sastry, a Guntur-based pediatrician, echoed the state’s claim that certain anomalies in central government policy hampered Covid’s vaccination campaign and filed a PIL with the High Court asking for an instruction to be given to the serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech requested the vaccines directly without being hampered by the Union of India’s political framework. The petition is due to be heard by a holiday bank on May 14th.

Dr. Sastry also prayed for an instruction to the center to liberalize supplies of essential medicines such as remdesivir so that the state can source them from manufacturers, or to instruct the Union Department of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Medicines to provide sufficient numbers To assign drugs to vials of remdesivir and tocilizumab and to ensure the supply of 700 tons of oxygen per day, taking into account the expected increase in Covid infections.

In his PIL, Dr. Sastry states that the quantity and date of delivery of vaccines to states are under the tight control of central government, which is why states have not been able to obtain the vaccines from manufacturers despite their financial means and willingness to transport and store them.

The state’s vaccination campaign in two categories (those over 45 who are given priority and those between 18 and 45 years of age) cannot be completed if the center remains in charge of allocating vaccines, the petitioner noted.

Dr. Sastry went on to argue that the allocation of essential drugs to states is disproportionate to the number of cases. For example, Gujarat, which had approximately 1.46,500 active cases of Covid last week, received approximately 4.19 lakh remdesivir injections compared to 2.35 lakh injections assigned to AP for nearly 1.87 lakh active cases. In terms of oxygen availability, AP has a significant shortage of 200 tons of oxygen out of the total of 428 tons allocated by the center.

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