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Government started vaccination drive few weeks ago across Pakistan for people over 60 years of age. It is absolutely free. I also got my first dose of Chinese vaccine on 13th March.
The letter reproduced below has been circulating widely since March 24. Allegedly, it is written by Transparency International.
Before you read the letter, I have the following comments.
- It does not look genuine given the tone and contents
- A small scan of the Vice Chairperson signature is affixed. Given its importance, it should have been signed in actual
- It is beyond the scope of TI to address the Prime Minister of any country and ask questions given in this letter
- TI letter, if genuine, may even be considered meddling in our affairs
- Annex B and C are missing
- The name of Chinese vaccine is not spelled right. It is CONVIDECIA
- DRAP price information is correct. The concern about high price is also correct
- It is also right that the government should take responsibility for free vaccination rather than leaving the nations to hounds who are waiting to fleece the public and are smelling blood of big money. Huge money was made by labs and is still being made by charging exorbitantly for COVID tests. The price should have been much less. Private hospitals robbed patients in the name of treatment, day and night, but nothing was done. Vaccine should not become another tool for minting money for the ‘usual suspects’.
Sub: Procurement of COVID-19 Vaccines by the Private Sector for commercial sale in
Transparency International Pakistan refers to the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine, or Sputnik V, comprising 50,000 doses, by the private sector in Pakistan. It is reported that the federal cabinet has fixed the maximum sale price of Sputnik V Russian vaccine at Rs. 8, 449 for two doses and China’s Conividecia at Rs. 4,225 per injection.
Across the globe, governments are procuring vaccines and administering to the’ citizens for free, as it is state’s responsibility. It may happen that at this inflated cost, the government may also procure vaccine. 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 govt’s vaccine may be sold to that private hospital.
The global price set for Sputnik V vaccine is $10 per dose. This means that internationally the two doses of Sputnik V are available at $20 (Annex-A). However, the approved price for its commercial sale in Pakistan in 160% higher than the international price. It may also be pointed out that in India, a single dose of Gamalya Centre/Sputnik V vaccine cost less than INR 734 (Annex-B). With this rate, taking into consideration the currency value difference, a single dose of Sputnik V vaccine should cost approx. Rs. 1500 in Pakistan. This anomaly of vaccine cost at more than 150% higher than the international market price is another serious issue of overcharging.
To ensure that the access to COVID-19 vaccine is fair, transparent and equitable, Transparency International has called upon all the governments to disclose COVID-19 vaccine related information pertaining to (Annex-C):
- Which vaccines has your government acquired?
- How many doses of each vaccine have been secured?
- When will the vaccines be delivered to everyone in your country? When will you be vaccinated, and which one will you get?
- How much is your government paying for a dose of each vaccine?
- Does your government have a single website with all information about COVID-19 vaccines, including timelines, coverage, financial resources and contracts?
TI Pakistan requests the honorable Prime Minister to review the policy of allowing private import of Vaccine, to cancel it altogether, and consider the request to issue directives for the TI recommendations for the disclosure of above critical information about COVID-19 vaccines.
TI Pakistan is striving for across the board application of Rule of Law, which is the only way to stop corruption and achieve zero tolerance against corruption.
Justice ( R ) Nasira Iqbal
Disclaimer. Reproduction of TI letter does not represent endorsing its authenticity.
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