KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday asked the Union government to give the time frame within which it will be able to supply the COVID vaccine to states. "Where are the vaccines to the states? If you delay the vaccine rollout, a new mutant may form and more people will die," the court observed orally.
The court also pointed out that NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul has reportedly said that they were prepared to transfer the technology as well as the patent to increase manufacturing of vaccines. The Union government counsel replied it was a policy matter and the Centre has to make a decision.State Attorney KV Sohan sought a directive to the Centre to give as many vaccine doses (as required) to Kerala.
The petition, challenging the Centre's vaccine policy, was filed by two doctors - KP Aravindan, former head of Department of Pathology, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, and Praveen G Pai, a public health specialist.
They submitted that it has been accepted by the scientific community worldwide that vaccination is the only way to control the spread of COVID and to minimise mortality.
According to the petitioners, vaccination has always been universal and provided free of cost in India. Now all states are facing a huge shortage of vaccines, hence there is a requirement to increase production. The petitioners also sought a directive to procure and distribute vaccines to the state governments free of cost as well as to all age groups.