Observing that there is little or no vaccine hesitancy in the State, the Tripura High Court on Monday lauded the efforts of health and frontline workers in the State and also participation of the general public in receiving sufficient vaccination dozes.
"These figures are quite impressive and could not have been achieved without selfless and tireless work put in by the health workers and the frontline workers, nor could have been achieved without the whole- hearted participation of the population of the State," observed a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S Talapatra while hearing its suo moto case on Covid-19 management.
The Bench further observed that given the steady and sufficient supply of vaccine dozes in the State, large scale vaccination can be carried out effectively in the coming months.
The development comes days after the Court took a grim view against vaccine insufficiency in the state. It had observed that people who have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, including both Covishield or Covaxin, cannot be made to wait indefinitely for receiving their second dose after the mandatory interval is over. Accordingly, the Court had asked the State Government to take up the issue with the committee looking into the aspect of allocation of vaccines.
In this backdrop, an affidavit was filed by Mission Director of National Health Mission, Tripura, specifying that 79.45% of the total eligible population had been administered first doze of vaccine. Particularly, close to 100% of the population of the State over 45 years of age and about 57% population in the age group of 18-44 years has received the first doze.
"The very fact that 100% population over 45 years of age has volunteered to receive the vaccines, would show that there is little or no vaccine hesitancy in our State," the Bench observed.
The Court was also informed that a helpline number has been installed to assist in registration of those people for vaccination who do not have easy access to internet facility.
Observing that it is equally important for the State Government to ensure the treatment covers of marginalized and under-privileged section of the society who perhaps needs it more than others, the Court directed thus:
"We, therefore, request the State Government to ensure widest publicity to this helpline facility and the helpline numbers."
On the aspect of public information distribution system, the Court noted some discrepancy in the stand taken by the State and the Centre with respect to detection of Delta variant in the state. It therefore observed,
"We only observe that official public communications by responsible State officials must carry accurate information. Such inadvertent inaccuracy in public statements undermines the confidence of the people in the data being supplied and in cases like the present one, has the propensity to spread fear. We stop at that."
Title: Court on its own motion WP(C)(PIL) No.9/2020