ON April 22, the Bombay High Court asked the government to relook its policy of not allowing door-to-door vaccination for Covid19, saying the facility should be considered for senior citizens. The High Court was hearing a petition filed by lawyers Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari, seeking a direction to the centre to allow home vaccination. The municipal agency in Mumbai has also asked for this facility to be made available as soon as possible.
The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni observed that if a policy denies an elderly person home vaccination because of their delicate medical condition, it must be viewed as arbitrary and unreasonable. Further, the Court said that elderly persons and persons with co-morbidities may face more risks if they are asked to step out to get vaccinated. Even at vaccination centres, Covid-19 protocols may be unintentionally compromised as huge crowds gather.
The centre’s affidavit opposing the petition for home vaccination was filed by Health Ministry Undersecretary Satyendra Singh. The affidavit said that in case of any Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI), case management may not be proper and there would be a delay in reaching health facilities. Further, there are many challenges in maintaining protocol of observation of the beneficiary for 30 minutes after vaccination. Besides, the vaccine will be taken in and out of the Vaccine Carrier for each vaccination, thereby increasing the chances of contamination and exposure beyond the recommended temperature. This could affect vaccine efficacy and cause AEFI, alleged the affidavit. It also said that there could be high vaccine wastage due to the increased time in going from door to door and following protocols for physical distancing and infection prevention.
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