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Kerala HC directs Centre to allow Covishield 2nd dose after four weeks

Kerala HC directs Centre to allow Covishield 2nd dose after four weeks


Kerala HC directs Centre to allow Covishield 2nd dose after four weeks

With continued surge in covid cases in Kerala, the state High Court on Monday directed the union government to allow the second dose of Covishield vaccine after four weeks gap instead of 12 weeks. A single judge bench of Justice P B Suresh Kumar, in its order dated 3 September, asked the Centre to make changes to the CoWIN app to enable a reduced dose gap for “those who want it”.

The order is limited to vaccines that people get from private sources, not the Centre’s free shots. The High Court, said the people shall have the choice to get early vaccination, for the implementation of which vaccine is being distributed on payment basis through private hospitals as well.

“The decision of the Government in providing relaxation in the protocol regarding administration of second dose of vaccine to certain classes of ns alone amounts to discrimination”, the Court said.

It further said that according to the Centre vaccination was voluntary and there was no compulsion on the part of anyone to accept it and therefore, the requirement to administer two doses of the vaccine and the time interval between them for better protection from infection “can only be considered as advisory”.

The court also said that when people have the right to refuse to accept vaccine, there is absolutely no reason why the State should take the stand that they shall not be permitted to accept the second dose after four weeks in terms of the original protocol, especially when they themselves are procuring the vaccine by spending money from their pockets.

The observations and directions of the court came while allowing the plea by Kitex Garments Limited, represented by advocate Blaze K Jose, seeking permission to administer the second dose of COVISHIELD vaccine to its workers without having to wait for 84 days.

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Kitex, in its plea, had said that it had already vaccinated more than 5,000 of its workers with the first dose and has arranged for the second dose at a cost of nearly Rs 93 lakh, but was unable to administer the same due to the prevailing restrictions.

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