Grievances on shortage of Covaxin for second dose in 18-44 yrs age group in Delhi addressed: HC

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New Delhi, Jun 11 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Friday noted that grievances of people here in the age group of 18-44 years who had received first dose of COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin and were finding it difficult to get its second dose have been addressed to a large extent and no further orders are required.

Justice Rekha Palli disposed of the three pleas filed by persons who were finding it difficult to get the second dose of Covaxin after getting the first jab as they have been fully vaccinated now.

The court was informed by the Delhi government that after 40,000 doses, now an additional quantity of 20,000 doses of Covaxin has been procured for the 18-44 years age group from a special quota to administer a second dose.

Delhi government additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal submitted that as part of the scheduled supply for June, 29,800 doses have also been received on June 10 and the total quantity of Covaxin received this month till June 10 for 18-44 years age group is 89,800 doses.

He further said that the number of slots available has already been increased from 150 to 200 per day per at the vaccination sites in schools and as per the CoWin app, between the period June 7-10, 49,206 beneficiaries have been vaccinated with second dose of Covaxin in government vaccination centers.

Noting the submissions, the judge said, “This in my view will take care of the grievances of the petitioners… No further orders are called for and the petitions are disposed of.” The court also recorded its appreciation for the stand and steps taken by the counsel for the Centre and Delhi government and also the petitioners in bringing these issues to its attention.

The Delhi government had on June 7 informed the court that it has directed all government centres, private hospitals and nursing homes here that Covaxin will only be administered to those in the age group of 18-44 years who received it as first dose of the vaccine.

The court was informed that the Delhi Chief Secretary has issued an order on June 6 that the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has directed that all private hospitals and nursing homes functioning as COVID Vaccination Centres for Covaxin shall ensure that it shall be used for vaccination to only those people (of age group 18-44 years) who are eligible for receiving it as second dose of vaccination during the month of June, 2021 or till further orders.

The Health Department of Delhi government, on June 3, has already issued similar directions in this regard to all government COVID Vaccination Centres.

One of the petitions has been filed by petitioner and advocate Kushal Kumar, seeking direction to the authorities to urgently provide a second dose of Covaxin vaccine to them as their allotted time period for the second dose is about to end.

Kumar and co-petitioners – Mansi Sharma and advocate Shashwat Tripathi, said the allotted time period for the second dose of vaccine is between May 31 to June 14.

Another petition has been moved by lawyer Ashish Virmani, who received the first dose of Covaxin on May 3 and since May 29 has been unable to book a slot for receiving the second jab which has to be taken within six weeks of the first.

Subsequently, he had to travel to Meerut in Uttar Pradesh to receive the second dose of the vaccine, advocate Pallav Mongia, representing Virmani, had told the court.

The third petition was filed by Rajeev Parashar, through advocate Deepak Parashar, raising a similar issue.

Central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia had earlier said the CoWin system provides the list of beneficiaries due for the second dose on a given day, containing the name and contact details of the persons to enable the state and district officials to actively track the beneficiaries due for the second dose.

He had said the CoWin system also sends automatic SMSs to the beneficiaries, every third day, starting from 3 days before the second dose due date, till such time as the beneficiary does not get vaccinated with the second dose or books an appointment for it.

On June 4, the Delhi government had told the high court that it made preparations for vaccinating people with Covaxin based on the assurance of Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of the vaccine, that the national capital will receive 5 lakh doses in May and four times that in June.

However, the Delhi government received only 1.5 lakh doses of the vaccine in May and due to the Centre's instructions not to set aside any stock for the second jab, all of it was used to provide the first dose to 1.5 lakh people in the 18-44 age group.

On June 2, the court had said if the Delhi government could not ensure that people get both the doses of Covaxin within the stipulated time, it should not have started so many vaccination centres with 'much pomp and splendour'. PTI SKV SKV RKS RKS

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