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Delhi Commission For Protection Of Child Rights Moves Supreme Court Against Exclusion Of Pregnant Women From COVID19 Vaccination Drive

Akshita Saxena
20 May 2021 4:16 PM GMT
Delhi Commission For Protection Of Child Rights Moves Supreme Court Against Exclusion Of Pregnant Women From COVID19 Vaccination Drive
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The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights has moved the Supreme Court challenging Centre's decision to exclude pregnant women and lactating women from Covid-19 vaccination. The petition has been filed through Advocate Prateek K. Chadha.It is stated that the Government has failed to include this category of women within the ambit of vaccination groups despite...

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The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights has moved the Supreme Court challenging Centre's decision to exclude pregnant women and lactating women from Covid-19 vaccination.

The petition has been filed through Advocate Prateek K. Chadha.

It is stated that the Government has failed to include this category of women within the ambit of vaccination groups despite growing medical literature demonstrating the need to vaccinate them to protect them from Covid19.

It is significant to note that the petition was filed before the Centre allowed vaccination of lactating mothers. However, it is the Petitioner's case that mere inclusion of lactating mothers in the vaccination drive is not enough.

It is stated that post vaccination monitoring and surveillance mechanism is critical for this category of women to trace adverse event, given the nature of potential risk; none of which the Centre has factored into, the Petitioner submits.

So far as vaccination of pregnant women is concerned, they are still not included in the vaccination drive.

In this regard, the Petitioner-organization has cited various medical studies and research reports in favour vaccinating the said group.

For instance, the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India, one of the largest membership-based organizations of specialized medical professionals in India, recommended that the very real benefits of vaccinating pregnant and lactating women seem to far outweigh any theoretical and remote risks of vaccination, the Petitioner submitted.

The Federation also suggested that obstetricians and gynaecologists and women's health care providers should be allowed to administer the Covid vaccines in pregnant & breastfeeding women with preparations to manage adverse events.

Similarly, the data provided by Centre for Disease Control and Prevention at the United States also provides evidence that immunisation of pregnant and lactating mothers has led to transfer of antibodies to the infant and hence extending protection of the vaccination to the infant.

The Petitioner has further referred to the recommendations made by the World Health Organization in March 2021 for vaccination of pregnant women after establishing the design of a mechanism to monitor the effects of vaccination on pregnant women.

"The State has a constitutional obligation towards protecting the health of women and children, and particularly pregnant women and lactating mothers, as this directly impinges on the health and well being of the new born child. Vaccination will advance this objective of promoting health as it will boost the immunity and provide resistance against this pandemic and therefore no class of persons should be excluded on arbitrary grounds," the plea states.

It is averred that vaccination of pregnant women and lactating mothers will promote the advancement of their right to health enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution and will boost their immunity and provide resistance to survive this against the pandemic.

In this backdrop, the Commission has urged the Top Court to direct the Government to:

  • Categorise Pregnant Women and Lactating mothers as high-risk category and be given priority in vaccination;
  • Create a registry to register pregnant women and lactating mothers for monitoring to trace & remedy any adverse effect;
  • Make an option on CoWin Portal for priority and tracking;
  • Set up separate centres, wherever feasible, for them as they are more prone to infection at normal centres where hundreds come for vaccination.

Click here to download the Petition


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