New Delhi [India], April 8 (ANI): A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Centre and Delhi governments to remove the age limit for deciding the beneficiaries of COVID-19 vaccination drive, allow participation of private entities and carry out door-to-door vaccination in the national capital in light of "alarming situation" created by resurgence of coronavirus infection.
The petitioner Mrigank Mishra, a law student, through Advocates Kaushal Kumar, Harsh Ahuja, Aaditya Kapoor and Akashdeep Gupta said that the current system of vaccination involves a visit to vaccination centres after securing an appointment on the Co-Win portal.
It said on-the-spot registrations "are very limited" and often lead to long queues and certain sections including bed-ridden senior citizens, differently-abled persons and the poor are at disadvantage owing to the present system of vaccination.
"In light of the alarming situation of rising COVID-19 cases and the second wave which is more severe than the first wave, it is pertinent to boost the vaccination drive and for the same, a widening with involvement of private sector entities is necessary to facilitate rapid and mass vaccination and allow door-to-door vaccination of the citizens," the plea said.
"It is also necessary to remove/relax the age restrictions in relation to the beneficiaries of vaccination drive since the increasing number of coronavirus cases are a concern for health and safety of every citizen," it added.
The plea said the current vaccination drive covers only people above the age of 45 years who are required to go to the designated COVID-19 vaccination centres.
"Considering the ever-rising number of coronavirus cases, availability of infrastructure and resources, and in a situation where the governments have ruled out the possibilities of lockdown, expanding the reach of vaccination drive is the only solution to meet the ends," it said.
The plea, which is likely be heard next week, said that several states and UTs including Delhi, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan have requested the central government to remove the age restrictions for the purposes of vaccination. It said the Centre has declined the requests.
The plea said even the Indian Medical Association has submitted requests to the government to remove the age barrier and involve more private entities for effective immunization of the population. (ANI)