The Court took note of the fact that the Central government has already permitted vaccination of all above the age of 18 years from May 1 onwards.
“Each vial has ten doses once it is open. It has to be either fully consumed or it does to waste. It should be possible for the governments to device means to register volunteers aged 18-45 years to take the vaccine if there are doses left after say 5 pm,” the Court said.
Such an approach would ensure that all doses are fully utilised, the Court added.
A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli was hearing a petition concerning the COVID-19 situation the national capital.
During the course of the hearing, the Court observed that there was a “huge” wastage of COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
“Today there was an NDTV report or Daily Hunt. The position is that 44 lakh vaccine were wasted out of 10 crore. Maximum wastage is in Tamil Nadu.”
The Court went on to cite the example of the United States of America which was utilising unused, open vials to vaccinate those who wished to.
“You cannot preserve it.. (Unused) vaccine are thrown in the dust bin..Every day we are losing young lives. Why should we waste even one shot? Why should we not have the sense of urgency,” the Bench remarked.
The Court also pulled up the Central government for not foreseeing the “dip” in people tuning up for vaccination and the consequent wastage of vaccines.
“We dont want a mad rush. That’s why we are doing graded. Doctors and experts are saying vaccinate yesterday, not tomorrow. Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate… All need vaccination.. We can’t make a app to deal with this situation? We are wasting..this is only bad planning. You should have known that people may not turn up… You have to foresee this situation. This not rocket science vaccine.”
Doctors and experts are saying vaccinate yesterday, not tomorrow. Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. We are wasting. This is only bad planning.
Delhi High Court.
While the Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma stated that fear psychosis was one of the reasons why people were not turning up, the Court directed the Central government to look into permitting full utilisation of vaccine till the time vaccination is opened up for all.
Government should modify their CoWin mobile app urgently to accommodate such an arrangement, the Court said.
The matter would be heard next on April 22.