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Near-to-Door Vaccination More Appropriate Than Door-to-Door Vaccination : Centre Tells Bombay High Court

Sharmeen Hakim
8 Jun 2021 8:50 AM GMT
Near-to-Door Vaccination More Appropriate Than Door-to-Door Vaccination : Centre Tells Bombay High Court
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The Central Government has come up with another five-pointer on why the elderly, the specially-abled and immobile, cannot be immunized at home. In an affidavit filed before the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has said that near-to-door vaccination would be an appropriate solution than door-to-door vaccination. The Near to Home Covid...

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The Central Government has come up with another five-pointer on why the elderly, the specially-abled and immobile, cannot be immunized at home.

In an affidavit filed before the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has said that near-to-door vaccination would be an appropriate solution than door-to-door vaccination.

The Near to Home Covid Vaccination Centers would include immunization jabs at non-health facilities closer to home, like at community centres, school buildings and old-age homes.

The Ministry said it issued a Standard Operating Procedure to that effect on May 27, 2021.

On May 20, the Bombay High Court granted the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19's (NEGVAC) time till June 1, 2021, to decide on a door-to-door policy for citizens who would not be able to visit vaccination centres.

The Centre's affidavit states that pursuant to HC's orders, the issue of door-to-door jabs was discussed in NEGVAC's meeting dated May 25, 2021, at the Niti Ayog, in New Delhi.

"All the members who participated in the meeting agreed that covid-19 vaccination could not be given at home due to the issues and risks cited by the Expert Committee, which was constituted under the chairmanship of Dr. NK Arora, Executive Director Inclen Trust to examine the door to door vaccination policy." the affidavit states.

It cited the following reasons against door- to- door vaccination -  

1. Addressing Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) in a timely and adequate manner.

2. Maintaining protocol of observation of every beneficiary for 30 mins after vaccination.

3. Maintaining cold chain and ensuring low vaccine wastage.

4. Exposure of healthcare personnel and frontline health workers to undue pressure from community and security issues in the community.

5. Risk of getting Covid-19 infection among vaccinators and mobilizers

The affidavit further states that 25,309 cases of AEFI cases have been reported till May 28, 2021 of which 1186 were serious cases. Moreover, 475 deaths were reported following covid-19 vaccination till May 28.

In an earlier hearing, the bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni had observed that several lives could have been saved if the Centre had a door-to-door vaccination policy for the elderly and bed-ridden a few months ago.

The bench is hearing a PIL by two advocates Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari seeking directions to the Central and State governments to initiate a door-to-door vaccination drive for citizens above 75, persons with physical disabilities and those who are bed-ridden.

[Dhruti Kapadia vs UOI]


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