Cannot order door-to-door COVID vaccination in this diverse country, or just scrap policy: SC

New Delhi, September 8 (PTI): Looking at the diverse conditions of the country, door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination is not feasible and it cannot pass a general direction to just scrap the existing policy, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday.

The top court, which refused to entertain a plea of a lawyers’ body seeking door-to-door COVID-19 jab for the disabled and people belonging to weaker sections of society, said the vaccination drive is already in progress and over 60 percent of the population has been administered the first dose.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, Vikram Nath, and Hima Kohli asked the petitioner ‘Youth Bar Association’ to approach the competent authority at the Health Ministry with its suggestions.

“In Ladakh the situation is different from Kerala. In Uttar Pradesh, the situation is different from any other state.

In Urban areas, the situation is different from rural areas. There are different kinds of problems in every state in this vast country,” the bench said.

“With one brush you want an order for the entire country. The vaccination drive is already in progress and over 60 percent of the population has been administered the first dose. One should understand the difficulty. This is a matter of governance; we cannot just scrap the existing policy,” it added. The top court told advocate Baby Singh, appearing for the association that a petition cannot be filed in a callous manner.

The petition sought direction to the Union of India and all states for door-to-door COVID vaccination of less privileged, disabled, weaker sections of society as they face difficulty in registering themselves on the CoWIN portal.

The bench said, “The vaccination programme is already underway and this court is monitoring the situation in suo motu proceedings”.

It said that to pass general directions in view of the diversity of the country is not feasible and practical and added, “Any directions passed should not impinge upon the existing vaccination policy of the government”.

When the petitioner’s counsel said the Health Ministry should be asked to consider the representation in a time-bound manner, the bench said, “we know under how much the pressure the health ministry officials are during these times, they have to look for Oxygen supplies across the country besides looking into other aspects”.

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Source: PTI