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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Madras HC: Doubtful if ‘right to refuse’ vaccine can be allowed during pandemic

The court observed that unvaccinated people can be carriers of the coronavirus after the state, in its submission, referred to a section of people who are hesitant to get the jab.

By: Express News Service | Chennai |
Updated: July 1, 2021 3:45:16 am
The matter stands adjourned till July 28. (File Photo)

The Madras High Court Wednesday expressed doubt on whether the “right to refuse” the Covid-19 vaccine can be exercised during the pandemic.

The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy made the observation during the hearing of a PIL raising concerns over the vaccination of people with disabilities, including those who are unable to travel.

The court observed that unvaccinated people can be carriers of the coronavirus after the state, in its submission, referred to a section of people who are hesitant to get the jab.

“Vaccinating a person may not only be to protect that individual but also in the larger interest of public health. When such a larger cause of public health comes into play, it is possible that a person who has not taken the vaccine may not reveal any symptoms but still be a silent carrier… (So) It is doubtful whether the right to refuse to take the vaccine can be exercised in such circumstances”, the court said.

The court asked the state to carry out campaigns to make people aware of the efficacy of the vaccine. It also hoped that the state would take the steps necessary to take care of people with disabilities.

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