HC directive to the Centre on vaccine availability

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Friday directed the Centre to inform the court when a meaningful solution to anti-COVID vaccine scarcity could be found and also when the vaccines ordered by the State government could be made available.

The Bench comprising Justice Devan Ramachandran and Justice Kauser Edappagath issued the directive on a public interest litigation seeking a directive to the Centre to bring the COVID vaccines under the ambit of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order and allocate sufficient funds to the State government for procuring vaccines.

Assistant Solicitor General P. Vijayakumar, appearing for the Centre, submitted that vaccines were released incrementally as and when doses were available. It was not possible to distribute vaccine exclusively to a State. There were well-thought out plans to distribute vaccine according to the need and demographic numbers.

The Bench said there should be some plan of action for catering to the need of the State government. In fact, a proactive plan had to be chalked out to make available vaccines to the States equally. There was a scare that the people could not get vaccinated because of the scarcity of vaccines.

As a result, every citizen who craved for vaccine flocked to the vaccination centres leading to crowding in the centres. They had fears that unless they are vaccinated, their life would be in danger. Crowding at vaccination centres should be avoided at any cost as otherwise, it would turn out to be super-spreader events.

The court noted that there were some isolated incidents of crowding in some centres in Palakkad and it was found that it had happened because of the communication gap between the officials of the vaccination centre and the police.

The court, therefore, directed the authorities of all the vaccination centres to inform local police well in advance on vaccination dates and in that event, sufficient police force should be deployed to avoid crowding of people in excess of the available doses.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 3:38:22 PM |

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