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Plea in HC seeks giving priority to NRIs, students going abroad in COVID-19 vaccination drive

ANI | Updated: May 30, 2021 14:03 IST

By Sushil Batra
New Delhi [India], May 30 (ANI): A petition has been moved in Delhi High Court seeking direction to the Central government to prioritize Covid-19 vaccinations, including for NRIs holding visas of countries in which they reside and work, and for students with valid offers of admissions into universities abroad.
The petitioner, Pravasi Legal Cell has also sought the issuance of direction to the respondents to provide an option to include passport numbers in vaccination certificates and an option to update vaccination certificates already issued with the passport numbers for those people who intend to travel abroad.
Advocates MP Srivignesh, Robin Raju and Deepa Joseph on behalf of the petitioner further sought direction to the respondents to take appropriate steps to include Covaxin in World Health Organisation's (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL) and to affix the complete name of the Covishield vaccine i.e. "Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine", on vaccination certificates.
The petition stated that since most countries were accepting only those who have been vaccinated, it will be difficult for those with valid visas to return to their jobs abroad in the current pandemic situation, unless they receive innoculations.

"Until the migrant community including the NRIs who have a valid visa of foreign countries are put in the priority list of vaccination, they would be in a position to return back as it will take time for the two doses of vaccination to get over and by the time it is done, there are high chances that they might lose their jobs also," the petition said.
The plea noted that most Indian students who have got admissions into foreign universities have to travel abroad by the month of August and September when the academic year starts, and many universities are expecting Indian students to get themselves fully vaccinated before they reach the respective countries.
It also added that foreign countries accept the Vaccination certificate only when they have the Passport number on it.
"So, a vaccination certificate carrying the Aadhaar number in place of the passport number cannot be produced as a valid document with the latest rules in many countries," the plea read.
"The vaccine beneficiaries who have been fully vaccinated by both doses of Covaxin might not be allowed to travel internationally as the vaccine produced by Bharat Biotech has not been included in World Health Organization's (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL) yet," it added.
The petition is scheduled to be heard by the division bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on Monday. (ANI)