Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Delhi High court to resume hearing on vaccination for children against the novel coronavirus

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The Delhi High Court on Monday to continue hearing the plea seeking prioritization in vaccination plan for children in the national capital against the novel coronavirus.

 A bench of the Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi And Justice Navin Chawla will hear the matter on March 21, 2022. 
During the course of hearing on the previous date, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, was informed that presently, the Government has approved vaccination for the children in the age group of 15-17 years, however, there is no road-map for vaccination for children aged twelve years and below. 

The instant petition was filed in May last year by Advocates Bihu Sharma and Abhinav Mukerji, on behalf of a 12-year old girl represented by her mother as well as on behalf of the mother of a eight-year old child.  
Claiming that the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic infected more children than the first wave, the plea averred that the vaccination policy of India has failed to factor-in children or parents of children, who are a vulnerable section of society, for vaccination against the deadly virus. It was further averred that the Government had not dealt with the situation diligently and failed miserably to prepare a National Plan for children coherently in accordance with the Disaster Management Act 2005, which recognizes children and their vulnerability during a ‘biological health emergency’, such as the current pandemic. “Globally, countries have fully recognized the importance of vaccinating children, alongside adults, to curb, mitigate the ill effects of the present pandemic and have accordingly and effectively taken measures,” the plea read. In light thereof, the plea sought a direction to the Government to prioritize adopting a rigorous approach to identify safe and effective Covid-19 vaccination plan for children.

The plea also sought for formulation  of a comprehensive National Plan with respect to children covering all aspects of their protection from the ill effects of the pandemic. Upon being informed by the Centre that the clinical trial for vaccination of children falling in the age group of 12-18 years is on the verge of completion, the Court had earlier remarked that a direction for a time-bound schedule for administration of vaccinations to children would result in a disaster.

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