Bombay HC seeks info from Centre on policy for jabs to senior citizens | Mumbai News - Times of India

Bombay HC seeks info from Centre on policy for jabs to senior citizens | Mumbai News – Times of India

Mumbai

MUMBAI: Bombay high court on Wednesday asked Central government counsel to take instructions and inform by Friday what the policy is on the protocol for senior citizens’ vaccination.
The HC was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed for helplines, user friendly registration procedure and door to door jabs for those who are advanced in age (over 75), bed ridden or physically challenged.
The PIL raises important concerns, said a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni, with Justice Kulkarni also citing how his wheelchair bound father could not go for vaccination.
The PIL by advocates Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari said it was difficult for many elderly to stand in line or take appointments. The CJ said when he had suggested to the BMC chief to turn the HC medical room as a vaccination center for lawyers and HC staff aged over 45, he said it was not possible as intensive care units (ICU) are required.
“Where is the literature for what civic chief said for ICU being a must?’’ the HC asked.
Kapadia, arguing the matter herself, said those living on the streets, even transgenders lacking Aadhar cards may be allowed on birth certificates to register and get vaccinated as they may pose a risk too. Government pleader Purnima Kantharia said if those on streets do not have Aadhar it is unlikely they have ‘birth certificates.’ Kantharia said Covid-19 vaccines are not like polio doses, they need proper storage and not even all hospitals can be vaccination centres since it was important to observe jab takers for adverse reactions and Intensive care units are needed.
Advait Sethna counsel for the central government kept asking for some more time when the court asked for literature on the policy.
The CJ said, “We cannot act like a bull in a china shop. We have to see whether the Centre has looked from this perspective…as it is not possible for everyone to register online… We are only seeing if any improvement can be made.’’
“Is it a policy decision by the Centre for online registration?’’ the HC asked. “We are no medical experts. I do not want that any senior citizen while taking vaccination should collapse,’’ said the CJ and Justice Kulkarni added, “There are issues of those who are on blood thinners, coagulants.’’
The HC posted the matter to Friday since next week is all a holiday and told the central counsel that more time if needed can be given then.
Kapadia sought to rely on online research of what the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the USA was doing for ‘home bound’ patients and the CJ said, “let us not follow what foreign countries are doing. We are supplying vaccines to foreign countries.”
The BMC lawyer showed the court a document issued by the ‘State family welfare bureau, Pune’ that stipulated a ‘three room requirement’ at vaccination centres and also An AFKI kit as well as availability of an observation room, bed and oxygen cylinder, AEFI (Adverse Events Following Immunization) management, good data connection and a trained five member team.

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