On Thursday, a bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh said that while Western countries are advocating for booster doses, Indian experts are of the view that there is no medical evidence for it.
So we need to know more from the experts. This decision should not be made on economic grounds. Admittedly, a booster dose is a costly proposition but we don’t want to go into a second wave-like situation by adopting a conservative approach.
Hearing various petitions filed during the spread of the pandemic in Delhi, the bench said, “This is a very serious matter. We are not experts but how can it be that western countries are encouraging booster dose and we are not even allowing people who want to have it.
The bench directed the Center to file an affidavit with regard to the proposed time frame for administering the booster dose as and when required.
The judges also said that the level of antibodies in the vaccinated person decreases after some time. In such a situation, the elderly and people suffering from diseases are more worried at the moment.
He asked, what is the stand of the Indian Institute of Medical Research (ICMR) in this matter. What is the way forward if necessary. Further, it also asked why vaccines that are going to be perishable should not be given as booster doses to those who have been fully vaccinated.
While fixing the matter for next hearing on December 14, the bench also asked the Center to bring on record its stand on vaccination of children.
During the hearing, Anurag Ahluwalia, standing counsel for the central government, told the bench, the issue is already pending in the court of the Chief Justice. In this regard, the Center has filed an affidavit stating that the vaccination of children has already been given in-principle approval and trials are on. To this the bench said, present this information here also.
At the same time, court friend and senior advocate Raj Shekhar Rao said that the efficiency of booster dose is a matter of expert opinion and the Center should formulate a policy on this. Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government, said that the right things should be done at the right time. Europe, America are already giving booster doses to citizens.