Raipur: Chhattisgarh government has decided to pause the third phase of vaccination for people of 18-44 years age group till further orders. This move comes after the decision of Chhattisgarh High Court directing state to distribute vaccines in the third phase of Covid-19 vaccination in an equitable manner.
The High Court, in its order, asked state to fix a reasonable ratio of allotment of vaccines to the 'Antyodaya Group', the persons belonging to the 'Below Poverty Line' and the persons belonging to the 'Above Poverty Line', with reference to all the relevant aspects including the vulnerability, chance to spread the disease and the number of eligible persons in the group.
For this, the state government has been directed to have a discussion of the secretaries of the relevant departments at the higher level and to fix the ratio as above and distribute the vaccines in the third phase of vaccination in an equitable manner.
An order has been issued in this regard by the health department on Wednesday stating that continuing vaccination under the same policy would amount to contempt of court. The state government said in their order that the government will need some time to fix the ratio of vaccination to be given. Therefore, the vaccination of 18-44 years age group will be postponed in the state till an amendment is made in the earlier issued vaccination policy.
Following the orders of High Court, the state government has formed a high level committee of secretaries under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Amitabh Jain. This committee will decide the priority ratio of Antyodaya, BPL and APL sections in vaccination. Based on its recommendations, the government will present its reply in the High Court, said the officials.
Briefing about the difficulties being faced by the state, it has been stated in the order that state government had ordered 75 lakh doses of the vaccine from the vaccine producers after getting the approval of the central government. The government had not received the vaccine until April 30. Late that day the state government was told that 1.5 lakh doses of the vaccine would arrive on May 1. There was no time to make a detailed action plan. The estimated number of people to get vaccine was 1.35 crore. In such a situation, it was necessary to prioritize a particular group to avoid law and order and mobilization.
Meanwhile, Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCCJ) state president Amit Jogi took to twitter alleging that the state government is trying to present High Court as ‘villan’ in the eyes of public.
“The High Court intends that everyone should be vaccinated, along with the financially weak people, but tonight, contrary to this intention @HealthCgGov dismissed the order banning the vaccination of the 18-44 age groups. The government has taken this decision with the wrong intention of making the High Court a villain before the public”, he wrote in a tweet along with sharing the copy of order issued by health department.