Tamil Nadu

‘Why not have special vaccine camps for differently abled?’

Tamil Nadu, Chennai, 16/04/2021 : COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate senior citizen and people aged 45 year with comorbidities, picture taken at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) in Chennai on Friday. Photo : Jothi Ramalingam .B / The Hindu  

The Madras High Court on Friday directed the Centre and the State government to report on Monday the possibility of establishing special camps in every district to administer COVID-19 vaccines exclusively to the differently abled.

The court felt that the governments must give priority to the differently abled too since they were in a pitiable condition.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy directed State Government Pleader (SGP) V. Jayaprakash Narayanan to get appropriate instructions from the Health Secretary.

The direction was issued after the SGP said the State government had already written a letter to the Centre, seeking permission to include the differently abled in the priority group for vaccination.

Polio survivor Meenakshi Balasubramanian of Chennai had filed a public interest litigation petition in the court, stating that the physically challenged faced increased and devastating consequences due to COVID-19, and therefore must be administered the vaccines on a priority basis. In reply to this, the Centre stated that prioritisation was being done in the backdrop of the limited availability of vaccines.

Vaccine availability

“The decision on prioritisation has been taken by an expert group, based on scientific evidence and domain knowledge expertise, keeping vaccine availability and larger public interest in view,” the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

It was also the stand of the Centre that multiple cases related to prioritisation were pending before different High Courts in the country, and they must be clubbed and heard together by the Supreme Court.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 8:40:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/why-not-have-special-vaccine-camps-for-differently-abled/article34340003.ece

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