A PIL on Friday urged the Delhi High Court to issue directions for immediate vaccination of 12-17 year-old children on the ground that there was an apprehension that a likely third wave of COVID-19 could affect them more.
A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to the Centre and Delhi government in the matter and listed it for June 4 hearing along with another similar plea.
The petition has also sought priority in vaccination to parents of children up to 17 years of age as several children were orphaned after their parents succumbed to COVID-19 during the second wave.
There are two petitioners in the matter — the first is a minor represented through her mother and the second is a mother of a minor child.
The petition, filed through advocates Bihu Sharma and Abhinav Mukerji, has claimed that according to the data of number of persons infected between April 2021 to May 2021, the number of reported cases where children were infected “has risen tremendously” than last year.
It has alleged that the vaccine policy of India has failed to factor in children or parents of children for vaccination and the Centre and Delhi government have also failed to prepare a national plan for taking of the minors during the present pandemic.
“That globally, countries have fully recognised the importance of vaccinating children, alongside adults, to curb, mitigate the ill effects of the present pandemic and have accordingly and effectively taken measures.
“Vaccines for children are being produced and administered in countries such as Canada, United States of America (USA), for children between the ages of 12-17 years,” it has said.
This article was originally published on The Hindu