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‘A person cannot be forced to get vaccinated’ Union administration to SC

A healthcare worker gives a dose of the COVISHIELD vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), manufactured by Serum Institute of India, to a man as others decorate the vaccination centre to celebrate the milestone of administering one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses, in Ahmedabad, India, October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo

The Union administration has told the Supreme Court that the Union Health Ministry’s COVID-19 inoculation standards do not allow for forced vaccination without an individual’s consent.

The news:  The Union government told the Supreme Court that it has not issued any SOP requiring people with disabilities to produce vaccination certificates for any reason.

  • This was stated in the Union government’s affidavit in response to a request by the NGO Evara Foundation for priority COVID-19 vaccination for people with impairments.

What’s going on: Meanwhile, around 93 per cent of India’s adults have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 70 per cent have been fully vaccinated, according to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

What they’re saying: “It is said that the Government of India and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have issued directives and rules that prohibit forceful vaccination without the agreement of the individual affected.

  • In light of the present pandemic scenario, it is argued that COVID-19 immunisation is of greater public interest,” stated an affidavit filed by the Union Health Ministry.
  • “It is duly recommended, publicised, and communicated through various print and social media platforms that all citizens should get vaccinated,” stated the ministry, adding that “systems and processes have been created to assist the same.”
  • It said, “However, no one can be forced to be vaccinated against their will.”
  • Mandaviya added that the massive preparation in such a short period of time has made it an unprecedented journey.
  • “From research and development to successful execution, India’s COVID-19 immunisation programme is a role model for the world community,” he said, adding that it is directed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unwavering belief in the country’s untapped potential and capabilities.

To commemorate the first anniversary of the inoculation programme, Mandaviya issued a commemorative postal stamp on the indigenously manufactured anti-COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin. The commemorative stamp design depicts a healthcare practitioner administering a COVID-19 vaccine to an elderly citizen, as well as a depiction of the ‘Covaxin’ vial.

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