Govt not responsible for Covid vax side-effects: Centre in SC

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New Delhi: The central government, in the affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, has stated that the government definitely encourages people for Covid vaccination in the public interest, but it is not a legal obligation to get vaccinated. The central government has said that the government is not responsible for the side effects of the vaccine on anyone.

The centre says that all the information about the vaccine is available on the public domain from the vaccine manufacturers and the government. The question does not arise that the person who has given their consent to get the vaccine is not fully informed. The central government has said that the petitioners can go to the civil court for compensation.

During the hearing on May 2, the Supreme Court upheld the government’s Covid vaccination policy, saying that it is based on scientific evidence, but no one can be forced to get vaccinated. But government rules however made it mandatory to get vaccinated to travel.

The Supreme Court suggested that the state governments should withdraw the order preventing people who have not got the Covid vaccine from using public facilities.

The governments of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh defended their guidelines issued regarding the corona vaccine on March 22. During the hearing, AAG Amit Anand Tiwari, on behalf of the Tamil Nadu government, had said that there is a great public interest behind making the corona vaccine mandatory for visiting public places so that the corona infection does not progress further. He cited the guidelines of the union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in which states were asked to get 100 per cent corona vaccination. Tamil Nadu government had said that vaccination of corona prevents mutation, people without the vaccine are at a higher risk of infection.

The Maharashtra government had said that the state government has made it mandatory to take the vaccine before entering public places like shops, malls etc. On behalf of the state government, advocate Rahul Chitnis had said that it is not correct for the petitioner to say that making vaccine mandatory is a violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. Vaccination is also linked to the rights of the petitioner as it affects the lives of others as well. The Madhya Pradesh government, while supporting the stand of the central government, said that a balance of rights is necessary.

The court, on August 9, 2021, had issued a notice on the demand of bringing transparency in the data related to the trial of the corona vaccine. The court had said that it is hearing on some issues and is issuing notices, but does not want to create confusion in the minds of people regarding vaccination. The court had said that the country is fighting the shortage of vaccine. This petition will create confusion among those who have got the vaccine.

Avocate Prashant Bhushan, on behalf of the petitioner, said that if the figures are not made public, there will be a lack of trust among the people about the vaccine.

The petition was filed by Dr. Jacob Puliel, former member of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. The petition demanded that the data of the clinical trial of the corona vaccine should be made public. The data of serious effects after corona infection should be made public. Data on patients who required hospitalisation or died should be disclosed. Many countries stopped giving the vaccine until the post-vaccine effect was assessed. Even countries like Denmark banned the AstraZeneca vaccine. The name of Astra Zeneca vaccine is Covishield in India.

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