Why IITs Demand for Priority Vaccination is not Justified?

Synopsis:  IITs are demanding priority vaccination. Their demand for vaccinating their staff and students against Covid-19 on a  should not be encouraged.

Background
  • In a recent meeting with the Union education minister, the IIT directors have demanded for vaccinating their staff and students against Covid on a priority basis, so that they can resume classes.
Why IIT’s demands should not be encouraged?
  • First, no person’s right to life is bigger than other persons. Though IITs are largely residential institutions, there are many other similar institutions. The risk of community infection is the same for all.
  • Second, IITs cannot demand priority on grounds of the nature of their work. They are not a frontline sector. Also, equally, everyone’s work is essential for the functioning and well-being of the community.
  • Third, to grant priority to a single interest group would open the floodgates to more such demands. With India facing a shortage of vaccines, such demands will reduce our vaccine distribution to complete chaos.
  • Fourth, vaccination is not a private but a public good. Vaccination protects not only the individual receiving it but everybody around them. India can be Pandemic free only when every individual is safe from the threat of the virus.
  • Fifth, it will deepen the endemic divisions of our society. For instance, distribution and administration of Covid vaccines are already heavily skewed in favour of the urban over the rural, the affluent over the poor, the digitally-enabled over the digitally-deprived. Any decision to promote subgroup interest will widen this gap further.

IITs need to employ their combined expertise and authority more effectively to guide the nation’s struggle against Covid to general benefit, thus lessening the need for sectarian demands.

Source: Indian Express

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