Published on: March 23, 2022 at 11:33 IST
The Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta clarified before a Bench of Justices L Nageshwara Rao and B R Gavai of the Supreme Court that the Central Government had not made Covid-19 Vaccines mandatory and has only said that the vaccination should be 100 percent.
The clarification happened after Amit Anand Tiwari, Additional Advocate General for Tamil Nadu told the bench that the Centre had issued a mandate that 100 percent of the population should be vaccinated.
It was submitted by Tiwari that Tamil Nadu had issued the vaccination mandate as vaccination against Covid-19 is essential to prevent serious disease in the population.
Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India also opposed the plea as they argued that the Petition was only purporting to be in the Public interest and is thus liable to be dismissed for espousing a private motive and attempting to cause vaccine hesitancy among the population.
It was argued by the counsel for Bharat Biotech that findings of clinical trials have been extensively published in publicly available peer=reviewed journals and are available on its website.
The Government had earlier told the Court that over 8.91 crore doses of the Covaxin vaccine had been given to the age group of 15-18 years as of March 12 and the Number of Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) reported was 1739 minor, 81 serious and 6 severe.
The Petitioner had argued that getting vaccinated was not an individual decision and that mandatory vaccination was unconstitutional in the absence of informed consent.
The Petition had been filed by Dr. Jacob Puliyel, a former member of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, seeking directions to disclose post-vaccination data regarding adverse events.