Involve RWAs for jab drive: HC to Centre


Court asks for report if govt. isn’t inclined to permit them to organise such camps

The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to “seriously consider” involving the Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) in the Capital for organising vaccination drives within their respective colonies for the residents.

A Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh said “permitting vaccinations to be undertaken at such camps would go a long way in making it convenient and safe for the residents of the colonies to get themselves vaccinated at such centres”.

“The Centre should, therefore, seriously consider this proposal at the earliest,” the court said. “In our view, the said aspect deserves serious consideration, and unless there are any specific reasons why the Central government would not want the RWAs to play a role in the vaccination drive, there should be no impediment in designating the camps organised by the RWAs in association with private hospitals as vaccination centres run by private hospitals,” it said.

“However, in case, the Centre, for any good reason, is not inclined to permit RWAs to organise such camps in association with private hospitals, the reasons shall be disclosed in the next status report,” the court said.

The HC’s order came after senior advocate Raj Shekhar Rao, who is appointed as amicus curiae to assist the court in the COVID-related cases, stated that on May 29, 2021, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued a clarification regarding the scope of COVID-19 vaccination by private hospitals in accordance with the National COVID Vaccination Programme.

As per this order, private hospitals are permitted to carry out COVID-19 vaccinations through private COVID-19 vaccination centres run by them, and that apart there is no other avenue to carry out inoculations under the National COVID Vaccination Programme.

The amicus curiae pointed out that prior to issuance of this order, several RWAs across Delhi had organised vaccination drives/ camps within their respective colonies for their residents in collaboration with different private hospitals. This was done keeping in view the convenience of the residents, and to avoid overcrowding at other vaccination centres, the amicus curiae said.

The court has posted the case for further hearing on July 7, when the court reopens after vacations.



This article was originally published on The Hindu