The Delhi High court on Wednesday said, if the Delhi government could not ensure that people get both doses of COVAXIN within the scheduled time then it should not have started so many vaccination centres with “much pomp and splendour”.
Justice Rekha Palli issued notice to the Delhi government and sought its stand on whether it can provide the second dose of COVAXIN to those who got the first dose, before the expiry of the development period of six weeks between the two doses.
“You opened so many vaccination centres everywhere with so much pomp and splendour and now you say you don’t know when the second dose stock would be available,” the court said while hearing the two petitions. One of the petitions has been moved by a lawyer, Ashish Virmani, who received the first dose of COVAXIN on May 3 and since May 29 has been unable to book a slot for receiving the second jab which has to be taken within six weeks of the first. Subsequently, he had to travel to Meerut in Uttar Pradesh to receive the second dose of the vaccine, advocate Pallav Mongia, representing Virmani, told the court.
A notice has also been issued to the Centre on two pleas to make the second dose of both the vaccines available against COVID-19 COVAXIN and COVISHIELD in Delhi. The court questioned, “Why did you (Delhi government) start it (vaccination) if you were not sure you can provide the second dose also? You should have stopped, like Maharashtra stopped when it found it cannot provide second dose.
The Delhi government along with additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal while the hearing told the court that the matter of getting the stocks was currently between the state and the manufacturer and he said there is a scarcity of COVXAIN so he is yet to receive his second dose.
When the stock of COVAXIN would be available and whether those who got the first dose can be provided the second dose within the given time period of six weeks, said Aggarwal. The court listed the matter for hearing on June 4.