The Centre on Tuesday informed the Bombay High Court that near-to-door coronavirus vaccination would be a more feasible option than door-to-door inoculation for the elderly and those bed-ridden, Live Law reported.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare noted in an affidavit that the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration also said that the near-to-door vaccination would be an appropriate solution. A meeting of the expert group was held on May 25 after the court directed the Centre to examine if door-to-door vaccination was possible.
“All the members who participated in the meeting agreed that Covid-19 vaccination could not be given at home due to the issues and risks cited by the Expert Committee,” the affidavit said.
After this meeting, the affidavit said the health ministry had issued standard operating procedures for near-to-home vaccination on May 27. Under this initiative, vaccination can take place in non-health facilities like community centres, school buildings and old age homes.
The health ministry said near-to-door vaccination will ensure that adverse events are addressed in time. It also said vaccine wastage will be reduced by maintaining cold chain systems. The near-to-door vaccination would also protect healthcare workers from any untoward incidents.
The affidavit stated that 25,309 cases of adverse reaction after vaccination were reported till May 28. Of these, 1,186 were serious cases.
The High Court said that while it appreciated the efforts of the committee and the central government, the concerns raised by the panel on why door-to-door vaccines cannot be started do not seem to be very serious, according to PTI.
“These can be overcome if the government wishes to,” it added.
A public interest litigation was filed by lawyers Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari, seeking directions to the central and state governments, along with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, to start door-to-door vaccination for citizens above 75 years of age and those who are bed-ridden.
The court will hear the case again on Wednesday.