A plea by a 12-year-old on Monday urged the Delhi High Court to direct the Centre to provide a roadmap for vaccinating children 12 years and below against COVID-19.
A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said it would hear the plea on March 22.
Tia Gupta (12) and a woman have submitted that presently vaccination is being administered to 15-17 age group and no roadmap is there to vaccinate children below 12 years of age.
“We have not been able to go to school in the past two years and lot of children are now getting stressed at home. The government has not given any roadmap and we see children in other countries go to school and getting vaxxed as Pfizer vaccine has come about for children 12 and above. So I just raised a question as to when is our country going to give us a roadmap,” Tia Gupta told NDTV when asked about why she has petitioned the court.
On being asked if she will feel safer once she gets the vaccine, she said, “Definitely. There is a lot of scientific data. People who have got the vaccine are obviously safer from Covid. But Omicron is still a case study, so I can’t say for sure.”
The high court had earlier said it would be a “disaster” if COVID-19 vaccines are administered, especially to children, without clinical trials and had asked the Centre to quickly vaccinate kids below 18 years of age once the trials are over as the whole nation is waiting for it.
The Centre, in the affidavit filed through central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, had said vaccination was the topmost priority of the government and all efforts were being made to achieve an objective of 100 per cent vaccination in the shortest time possible keeping the available resources in mind and availability of vaccine doses into consideration.
The petition has claimed that according to the data of the number of persons infected between April 2021 to May 2021, the number of reported cases where children were infected “has risen tremendously” than 2020.
The petitioners had first approached Delhi High Court in May 2021.
The petition had then alleged that the “inaction” of the authorities on vaccinating children had resulted in depriving children of their fundamental right to education.