India tells top court it has no plans to force people to get Covid vaccine

Indian government also said it is not mandatory for people to carry their vaccination certificates

Namita Singh
Monday 17 January 2022 14:07
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<p>Students queue up to register themselves for the coronavirus vaccine at Siliguri Hakimpara Girls school in Siliguri on 8 January 2022</p>

Students queue up to register themselves for the coronavirus vaccine at Siliguri Hakimpara Girls school in Siliguri on 8 January 2022

The Indian government has told the country’s top court that it does not plan to inoculate individuals without their consent, and added that it has not set out any guidelines making it mandatory for citizens to carry their vaccination certificates.

The central home ministry said this in response to an affidavit filed by NGO Eva Foundation, which sought ease of access to vaccination for persons with disabilities, as it advocated for door-to-door vaccinations.

On 3 December, the Supreme Court had granted the petitioners the liberty to formulate concrete suggestions with the aim of strengthening the existing framework to ensure that disabled citizens get proper access to Covid-19 vaccines, reported Live Law.

The government was responding to the petitioner’s submission seeking exemption of persons with disabilities from producing vaccination certificates. The federal health ministry informed the Supreme Court that it has not issued any SOPs that makes “carrying of vaccination certificate mandatory for any purpose”.

“It is submitted that the direction and guidelines released by Government of India and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare do not envisage any forcible vaccination without obtaining consent of the concerned individual,” the ministry added in its affidavit, reported the Press Trust of India.

Foregrounding that the government has “advised, advertised and communicated” through various mediums that all citizens should get vaccinated, the ministry emphasised that “no person can be forced to be vaccinated against their wishes.”

The health ministry informed the court that so far, 90.84 per cent of India’s eligible adult population had received their first dose of the Covid vaccine, while 61 per cent had received their second dose.

“Furthermore, a total of 23,768 doses have been administered to disabled persons who have voluntarily chosen to be identified as such by using their Unique Disability ID Card/Disability Certificate for registration at the time of their vaccination,” it said.

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