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Don’t want to send signal casting doubt on Covid vaccine: SC

🔴 The bench was hearing a PIL seeking directions to follow up through an independent agency on people who have been administered the Covid vaccine, and record and advertise instances of death or adverse events occurring within 30 days of the vaccination.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: November 26, 2021 10:13:05 pm
The bench, however, said that not every death after vaccination can be attributed to the vaccine and that there may be no correlation between such deaths and the vaccine.

The Supreme Court on Friday said it did not want to send a signal casting doubt on vaccines, noting that there are “huge merits of vaccination”.

“I don’t think you can say unbelievable etc…There are huge merits of vaccination. Even WHO says so. We don’t want to send a signal casting doubt on vaccinations,” Justice D Y Chandrachud, heading a two-judge bench, told Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves after the latter said that there were an “unbelievable number of deaths” post Covid-19 vaccination.

The bench, also comprising Justice A S Bopanna, was hearing a PIL seeking directions to follow up through an independent agency on people who have been administered the Covid vaccine, and record and advertise instances of death or adverse events occurring within 30 days of the vaccination.

Gonsalves said that at the time of filing petitions, there were 900 such deaths after vaccination across the country. He said that there were guidelines in place in 2015 for dealing with adverse reactions after immunisation but these are currently not being followed, which is why “there is unbelievable number of deaths”.

The bench, however, said that not every death after vaccination can be attributed to the vaccine and that there may be no correlation between such deaths and the vaccine.

Gonsalves said that for research purposes, it needs to be seen if the vaccine has any adverse effects.

The bench said it cannot make a policy on the subject. “We have to see this as a nation which is whole. This is a matter of highest national importance. We cannot afford the price of laxity by not vaccinating people…This is the biggest pandemic that we saw in our lifetime,” it said.

Justice Chandrachud pointed out that there are guidelines already in place, and that even countries like the US have Covid vaccines. “When there are guidelines in place, why should the court intervene at this crucial stage? Look at the developed world, whether US or others, they have Covid vaccines.”

Gonsalves responded that all those countries have active surveillance but India has jettisoned active surveillance.

The bench finally asked the senior counsel to share a copy of his petition with Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and said it will take up the matter after two weeks.

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