Centre Not Utilising Vaccine Doses Adequately: Delhi HC
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The Delhi high court on March 4 questioned the Centre over the rationale behind restricting Covid-19 vaccines only to people above 60 years of age or above 45 with serious co-morbidities, and observed that the government wasn’t adequately utilising doses made available by manufactures.

“We are not utilising Covid-19 vaccines fully. We are either donating it to foreign countries or selling it to them, and are not vaccinating our own people. There has to be that sense of responsibility and urgency,” the bench of justice Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli told additional solicitor general Chetan Sharma, who was representing the Union government.

The court also directed the Centre to file an affidavit giving the rationale behind restricting people by creating age categories for who can be vaccinated, and the rationale behind defining co-morbidites that make people above 45 eligible. At the same time, the bench asked the two firms that make the vaccines administered in India.

The two companies, represented by their counsel, told the court that they had excess vaccines available for supply, but could only make them available based on permissions by the Union government. The bench was hearing a suo motu case on the premise that judges, court staff and lawyers should be considered as frontline workers, and hence, should be vaccinated on priority.

During March 4th hearings, apart from asking for affidavits from the Centre and the two firms, the court also directed the Delhi government to carry out inspection of medical facilities in courts, and to create infrastructure for vaccination of people connected with the judicial processes, including advocates.

The Centre said in its response that lawyers were indeed frontline workers, and the issue of vaccinating them will be discussed with the concerned ministry. The matter will be now heard on March 10.

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