Coronavirus | Delhi High Court questions limiting access to COVID-19 vaccination

Medical staff showing the Covid-19 vaccine during the vaccination drive in progress at Tirathram Hospital, in New Delhi on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Union government to explain the rationale behind limiting the current category of people eligible for receiving COVID-19 vaccination to those over the age 60 and to those above 45 with comorbidities.

“We are not utilising it fully. At the same time, we are donating, or selling it to foreign countries. There has to be a sense of urgency,” a bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli observed.

Directive to companies

The court directed the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech to disclose their capacities to manufacture their Covishield and Covaxin vaccines respectively and if they could scale up their capacity to accommodate the legal fraternity for vaccination.

It asked the Delhi government to carry out an inspection of the medical facilities available in court complexes in the capital so that vaccination centres could be created there.

The court’s direction came while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition initiated by it on the issue of declaring people associated with the judicial functioning, including judges, court staff and lawyers as “front line workers” so that they can get the vaccination.

BCD’s representation

The court, on Wednesday, decided to convert a representation made by the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) for vaccination of the members of the judiciary, the employees/ staff working in the courts, as well as advocates on priority and without limitations of their age or physical condition.

The court was of the opinion that, “There is a clear pattern emerging that the number of COVID-19 positive cases increases with greater intermingling and congregation of people”.

“Court premises of the Delhi High Court and some of the District Courts, and all the Court rooms are air-conditioned. With increased footfall, there is likelihood of the rate of infection amongst those who attend the Courts spiking, once the full-fledged physical functioning of Courts in Delhi resumes,” it said.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 9:03:14 PM |

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