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Plea in Delhi HC for door-to-door COVID-19 jab to bed-ridden senior citizens; court seeks govt reply

Notice on the PIL, which also seeks a helpline for registration of such cases, was issued by a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.

August 03, 2021 / 12:38 PM IST
State Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni that home vaccination on a trial and experimental basis would be introduced in Pune district first.

State Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni that home vaccination on a trial and experimental basis would be introduced in Pune district first.

The Delhi High Court Tuesday sought the Centre and Delhi government's reply on a plea seeking direction to them to introduce a policy on urgent door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination for bed-ridden senior citizens here.

Notice on the PIL, which also seeks a helpline for registration of such cases, was issued by a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.

The petitioner is an 84-year-old Dhiraj Aggarwal who suffers from arthritis and is yet to be vaccinated as she cannot visit the vaccination centre on account of her health.

The petition also highlights that many fellow super senior and bed-ridden citizens, who are vulnerable to COVID-19, do not have private transport to reach the vaccination centre or even a family member who would help them with the registration process.

Visiting a vaccination centre also exposes senior citizens to the virus, it added.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The petitioner, represented by advocate Vinay Kumar, argued that it is the obligation of the authorities to introduce helpline and door-to-door vaccination and not doing so is against the right to life.

It is the obligatory duty of the respondent no. 1 and 2 (Centre and Delhi government) to take care of super senior and bed ridden citizens, it said, adding that denying the vaccine by not introducing a helpline number for registration of COVID-19 vaccine and a policy on urgent basis for door to door COVID-19 vaccination for super senior and bed ridden citizens in Delhi is against the fundamental right to life of a citizen.

The petition said that certain states like Jharkhand have already begun door-to-door campaign for vaccination.

The matter would be heard next on September 16.

(With PTI inputs)
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