September 28, 2021

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The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

Let citizens opt for early second Covid dose: HC to govt

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Let citizens opt for early second Covid dose: HC to govt
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Let citizens opt for early second Covid dose: HC to govt
Let citizens opt for early second Covid dose: HC to govt

KOCHI: The Kerala high court on Monday held that not allowing citizens to have the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine early while allowing some categories such as those going abroad was discriminatory, especially when they are willing to avail of paid vaccination.
Allowing pleas filed by Kitex Garments Limited and another company for early second-dose vaccination of their workers, Justice PB Suresh Kumar ordered the Central government to make changes to vaccine-booking portal CoWIN to allow citizens willing to pay for the second dose to choose between an early vaccination to be safe or a late vaccination for better efficacy.
Both the central and state governments had agreed before the court that early second-dose vaccination is being allowed for some categories, such as people going abroad for jobs or studies, government officials requiring travel abroad, and those participating in the Olympics.
The court held that citizens who pay for Covishield vaccine have the right to choose whether to be vaccinated after four weeks of first dose, as was originally prescribed by the government, or after 84 days as prescribed by the central government citing better efficacy.
In the judgment, the court noted that vaccination is voluntary and the dosage gap prescribed by the Centre can only be considered advisory. In such circumstances, there is no reason for the central government to oppose its own decision to distribute vaccines through private hospitals to enable people to get vaccinated early, the court said.
The court has also clarified that it has not given a ruling on whether citizens have a choice for early vaccination or late vaccination while availing vaccines for free from the government.
Advocate Blaze K Jose had argued for Kitex that the preventing early administration of second-dose vaccines to the petitioner’s employees after having bought the vaccine at a cost of Rs 1.5crore amounts to discrimination.

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