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Business & Finance

Concerns raise over Private sector import of COVID-19 vaccines in Pakistan

  • “This anomaly of vaccine cost at more than 150% higher than the international market price is another serious issue of overcharging,” pointed out the letter.
Published March 24, 2021

Vice-Chairperson of Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) Justice (retd) Nasira Javed Iqbal, has expressed serious concern over the government’s decision to allow the private sector to import and sell COVID-19 vaccine.

“Across the globe, governments are procuring vaccines and administering to the citizens for free as it is the state’s responsibility. It may happen that at this inflated cost, the government may also procure vaccines. Similarly, it may also be pointed out that Pakistan is one of the first countries to allow the private sector to import and sell COVID-19 vaccines, and will provide a window of corruption as there are possibilities some of the government vaccine may be sold to the private hospital, wrote TIP Vice-Chairperson in a letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Vice-Chairperson Transparency International has told the prime minister that the cabinet has reportedly set a price of Rs 8,449 for two doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, whereas, the Chinese vaccine is priced at Rs 4,225 per injection.

According to Vice-Chairperson TIP, the Russian vaccine Sputnik V costs Rs 1,500 in India. “This anomaly of vaccine cost at more than 150% higher than the international market price is another serious issue of overcharging,” pointed out the letter.

The letter called on the Prime Minister to review the policy of purchasing vaccines through private companies. The policy of purchasing vaccines through private companies should be abolished.

Meanwhile, talking to Vice of America (VOA), Justice (retd) Nasira Javed Iqbal said that the state has a responsibility to ensure that health facilities are equally available to all citizens. If this is not done, it will provide the basis for the class system.

Vice-Chairperson Transparency International said that the coronavirus vaccine should be free to citizens which is a basic right of every citizen. She said that the private sector should not be involved in vaccination against coronavirus.

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