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Tehseen Poonawalla Moves Supreme Court Seeking Extension Of COVID-19 Vaccinations To All Age Groups

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
12 April 2021 7:48 AM GMT
Tehseen Poonawalla Moves Supreme Court Seeking Extension Of COVID-19 Vaccinations To All Age Groups
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A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court challenging the extension of COVID-19 vaccinations only to those belonging to "prioritized age groups" above 45 years of age. The petition, filed by Tehseen Poonawalla, characterizes the extension of vaccination facilities to "prioritized age groups" above 45 years of age as arbitrary and violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the...

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A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court challenging the extension of COVID-19 vaccinations only to those belonging to "prioritized age groups" above 45 years of age.

The petition, filed by Tehseen Poonawalla, characterizes the extension of vaccination facilities to "prioritized age groups" above 45 years of age as arbitrary and violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

In view of the surge in Covid-19 cases, it has been contended that vaccinations should be allowed for all age groups, especially to persons with co-morbidities such as respiratory illnesses and terminal illness.

The plea reads,

"with the daily rise in cases being that of approximately 1.31 lakh new cases on 09.04.2021 itself, presenting the country with an evident and ever-increasing need to allow vaccination for COVID-19 to all age groups and especially to all persons with co-morbidities such as respiratory illnesses and terminal illness, who, despite being vulnerable to COVID-19, have not been given the option to be protected by the vaccine."

The petition argues that persons with comorbidities are presently not being allowed the option of getting a vaccine, despite their vulnerability.

In this respect, the petition urges that immediate steps be taken to ensure that vaccines are available not only to persons aged above 45 years but to all persons even below the age of 45-years employed in work that requires them to go outside everyday, along with all persons with any of the co-morbid conditions as vulnerable groups.

Pointing out that both the COVAXIN and COVISHIELD vaccines have been found to

be effective against COVID-19 disease, the plea adds that the prevailing bar on availability of approved vaccines to persons below the age of 45 years, despite having co-morbid conditions, is arbitrary, unreasonable and violative of Article 21.

Underscoring the necessity of allowing vaccines to other vulnerable sections as well, the petition points out Article 21 guarantees a right to life, not being a mere animal existence but including within it the right to dignity and appropriate healthcare. The petition also submits that Article 14 envisages "a right to equality to all the citizens".

Against this backdrop, the petitioner prays that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, makes effective changes in its policy to ensure COVID-19 vaccination to all citizens of the country.

The Petition has been moved through Advocates Fuzail Ayyubi and Deepali Dwivedi

CASE NAME: Tehseen Poonawalla v. Union of India


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