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'A Citizen Suffering Due To State-Sponsored Vaccination Scheme': Kerala HC Orders Expeditious Redressal Of Plea Seeking Booster Shot For Intl Travel

Hannah M Varghese
3 Nov 2021 5:30 AM GMT
A Citizen Suffering Due To State-Sponsored Vaccination Scheme: Kerala HC Orders Expeditious Redressal Of Plea Seeking Booster Shot For Intl Travel
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The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the Centre to expeditiously redress the grievance of a petitioner seeking administration of the third dose of an internationally recognized Covid-19 vaccine for NRIs, who had already received two doses of Covaxin, which is not globally recognized for international travel.Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan while clarifying that he was not endorsing...

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The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the Centre to expeditiously redress the grievance of a petitioner seeking administration of the third dose of an internationally recognized Covid-19 vaccine for NRIs, who had already received two doses of Covaxin, which is not globally recognized for international travel.

Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan while clarifying that he was not endorsing administration of the third dose of vaccine, observed that the State was responsible in the matter: 

"This is a constitutional violation; a clear case of infringement of Fundamental Rights of a citizen. His very right to movement is restricted! A citizen is suffering due to a State-sponsored vaccination scheme." 

The ASGI informed the Court that no authorised study has so far recognised the efficiency of a booster dose and that the side effects of the same were still unknown

He added that a similar issue was pending before the Apex Court for consideration, wherein the Supreme Court had decided to wait for the approval of the vaccine from WHO before finalising a decision in the matter.

However, the Court responded that this was an individual petition and that his right to movement had been hindered due to the State.

Accordingly, the central government has been directed to redress the grievance within a period of one month. 

The petitioner, an NRI who works in Saudi Arabia had been administered two doses of Covaxin upon arriving in India.

However, pursuant to administering the vaccine, he came to know that Covaxin was not recognized by the Government of Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom only approves Covishield, which is the equivalent of AstraZeneca.

Therefore, the petitioner moved the court for a third jab and if not vaccinated with an internationally recognised vaccine, he could lose his job in Saudi.

In his plea, the petitioner had urged that it was time to explore mixed doses of COVID 19 vaccines. Advocate Manas P. Hameed appeared on behalf of the petitioner.

Covaxin Not Recognized Globally: Kerala High Court Issues Notice On Plea Seeking Booster Dose To Facilitate International Travel

The State had earlier informed the Court that clinical trials are underway to ascertain the efficacy of administering a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and that it will take another few months to reach completion.

Case Title: Girikumar Thekan Kuunumpurath v. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare & Ors

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