Delhi HC issues notice to Centre on plea seeking vaccination of children

The petition was filed by a 12-year-old through her mother and a woman whose child is 8-year-old.

The Delhi High Court Friday issued a notice to the Centre on a petition seeking a direction for inclusion of children (12-18 age group) and their parents as priority group in the COVID-19 vaccine drive being undertaken in the national capital. The petition was filed by a 12-year-old through her mother and a woman whose child is 8-year-old.

The division bench of Chief Justice D.N Patel and Jyoti Singh also issued the notice to the Delhi government and listed the case for hearing on June 4.

“The ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 has affected children in India far more than it did in the ‘first wave’, which affected the nation in the year 2020. The Respondents (authorities) should be mindful that the virulence and spread of the infection under the second wave has been far more in 2021 than it was in the first wave. Thus, news reports based on the advice of medical doctors, virologists, who predict that a ‘third wave’ would be more virulent for children should not be ignored,” the petitioners have argued in the petition.

It further argues that the inaction of the authorities in vaccination of children, as well as their parents, being their primary caregivers, as a priority category, has resulted in the violation of the National Policy on Children 2013.

“Other countries of the world, like US and Canada, have already started administering an appropriate dose of vaccine to children,” reads the petition, adding the authorities were ignoring the international and national medical data and opinion “which is clear that vaccinating children and their caregivers as a priority sector is an essential component for breaking the chain of COVID-19 virus transmission”.

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