Let’s wait and see if WHO okays Covaxin: Supreme Court

Plea wants people vaccinated with Covaxin to be administered two doses of Covishield

The Supreme Court on Friday decided to wait and see if the World Health Organisation (WHO) gives emergency use authorisation to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin before considering a plea to allow people vaccinated with Covaxin to be administered two doses of Covishield.

“Let us see if authorisation from the WHO comes or not,” a Bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and B.V. Nagarathna told petitioner-in-person Kartik Shah.

However, the court was sceptical about intervening in the issue.

‘Can’t play with people’s lives’

“You want us to order people who were given Covaxin to be given Covishield… Revaccination of fully vaccinated people? We cannot play with the lives of people,” Justice Chandrachud addressed Mr. Shah.

Also read: WHO decision on Covaxin EUL likely in October

The petitioner said students and professionals travelled out of India every day. If they were inoculated with Covaxin, they were forced to be under quarantine abroad.

Justice Chandrachud observed that the court would not be made a forum for competitors to battle each other for the market.

Also read: India to push for Covaxin recognition by WHO and EU

In his petition, Mr. Shah stated that the government “at the time of rolling out Covaxin for use in the market, failed to make the public aware that it was not approved by the WHO and that it had not even submitted an application before the WHO for approval… This was submitted as late as in April 2021”.

The news that several nations have banned entry to people who have not been administered vaccines in the WHO list came out only in May.

Until May 1, the Government did not allow people to choose their vaccine, Mr. Shah submitted.

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