No One Can Be Forced to Be Vaccinated, Says India’s Top Court

No One Can Be Forced to Be Vaccinated, Says India’s Top Court

The Supreme Court of India on Monday said that no individual can be forced to receive a vaccination, adding that no state government can take a step that may violate the integrity of a person’s body.

A former member of the National Technical Advisory Group of Immunisation, Jacob Puliyel, approached India’s supreme court and argued that the ruling by the state’s government that a person must be vaccinated to gain access to benefits or services is a violation of human rights and, therefore, unconstitutional.

The court stressed that restricting unvaccinated people’s access to public places is not proportional and should be repealed in the present conditions.

“Until infection numbers are low, we suggest that no restriction is imposed on individuals for access to public places, services and resources,” the Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai, ruled.

The court’s ruling is limited to the petition under discussion and it would not “stop or prevent the government from taking any step in future to control the spread of the pandemic”, the bench added.

The petitioner had raised concerns that not enough data was available about the efficacy of the vaccines, which prompted the Supreme Court to instruct the federal health ministry to publish in a public arena reports from people and doctors about vaccines having adverse effects.

As of Monday, 2 May, about 60 percent of Indians are fully vaccinated. In April, the Indian government also launched the drive to provide booster doses for all adults aged above 18. The federal government has also cleared vaccines for children older than 5 years of age.

India on Monday reported 3,157 new COVID-19 cases. The total caseload now stands at 43Mln, and active cases are 19,500, according to the federal Health Ministry.

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