Updated: September 6, 2021 10:45:20 pm
The Kerala High Court on Monday directed the Centre to make changes on the Co-Win vaccination portal to enable scheduling of the second dose of Covishield vaccine after four weeks of the first dose for those who are willing to pay for it.
The single bench of Justice PB Suresh Kumar examined whether a person covered by the national vaccination programme is entitled to choose between early protection and better protection from Covid-19 infection in the matter of accepting paid vaccines.
“If the government can permit persons who are intending to travel abroad to exercise a choice between early protection and better protection from Covid-19 infection, there is absolutely no reason why the same privilege shall not be extended to others who want early protection in connection with their employment, education etc,” the court order read.
“Further, the stand taken by the Central government that the court shall not grant the relief sought for by the petitioners, for they have not approached the Central government, cannot be accepted, for as indicated, the very premise on which the present writ petition is instituted is that the decision of the government in providing relaxation in the protocol regarding administration of second dose of vaccine to certain classes of persons alone amounts to discrimination and the directions sought are directions to extend to the petitioners also the same relief.”
The court, however, said that it has not considered the same question in the light of the free vaccine distributed by the government.
The court was hearing a writ petition filed by Kitex Garments Ltd and Kitex Childrenswear Ltd, two garment firms based in Ernakulam, Kerala. The petitioners contended that they had purchased Covishield vaccine doses for their over 10,000 workers and their families. However, they were unable to administer the second dose to the beneficiaries as the Centre insisted on the interval of 12-16 weeks and registration for the same on the Co-Win portal.
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