HC Seeks Reply From Centre On Vaccine Priority To Mentally I
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Delhi High Court on March 15 sought a response from the Centre on a plea seeking to get priority Covid-19 vaccination for people suffering from mental illness. A bench issued notice to the Centre, Central Mental Health Authority (CMHA) and National Expert Group of Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) and sought their responses, while listing the matter for further hearing on April 30.

It acted on a PIL, which also sought to direct the authorities to frame a policy to provide Covid-19 vaccination to homeless mentally-ill people and challenged the exclusion of mental illness from the list of specified comorbidities for determination of eligibility of citizens in the age group of 45 to 59 years.

Petitioner advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal submitted the plea. He said mental illness was excluded from the list of specified comorbidities. Bansal said it created barriers for thousands of those with severe mental illness. The petition said homeless people with severe mental illness have a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 infection due to the fact that they are unable to understand what is happening with them.

“It is because of the said reason that the Indian Psychiatric Society has written two times to the respondents for the inclusion of mental illness in the list of specified comorbidities, but to no avail,” it submitted.