Delhi

Parents’ consent needed for measles vaccination, High Court tells govt

On January 15, the court had deferred the vaccination drive till further orders.   | Photo Credit: Leo Correa

The Delhi High Court told the city government on Tuesday that express consent of a parent is necessary before administering the measles and rubella vaccine during vaccination drive to be held in schools here.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru also said the parents need to be told about the risk of administering the vaccine.

The court’s remark came after the Delhi government said there was no need to indicate risks of the vaccine as it could discourage people. Additionally, it said the vaccine would be administered to only those children whose parents give express permission.

Some parents had moved the High Court challenging the Directorate of Education’s December 12, 2018, notification, which said express consent was not required to administer the vaccine.

‘Additional dose’

The notification had said: “The measles and rubella [MR] vaccination campaign will be held and all children... will be provided an additional dose of MR vaccine, regardless of previous vaccination status or history of measles/rubella-like illness.”

On January 15, the court had deferred the vaccination drive till further orders.

The parents counsel told the court that “there can be nothing like opt-out consent. There has to be express consent. It is a matter of bodily integrity. You cannot touch someone’s body without their consent”.

Opt-out consent

The city government said that opt-out consent was necessary as a target of 95% coverage is necessary under the policy and added that the Union government has launched the vaccination drive across the country to eliminate the measles and rubella disease from India.

The court said instead of tentative dates, the DoE will have to give fixed dates as to when the vaccination will be carried out in each school and forms can be circulated for obtaining consent of parents.

Further, the court said it will pass a detailed order in the case.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 12:34:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/parents-consent-needed-for-measles-vaccination-high-court-tells-govt/article26064939.ece

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