The Supreme Court confirmed the central government’s COVID-19 vaccination policy on Monday, declaring that physical autonomy and integrity are fundamental rights and that no one may be forced to get vaccinated against COVID.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai also ruled that vaccination mandates enforced by several state governments and other agencies in response to the COVID-19 epidemic are “not proportional.” The bench urged that governments eliminate limitations on unvaccinated people’s access to public spaces and resources, stating that such restrictions are arbitrary.
The court stated that it is convinced that the present vaccine policy is not irrational or clearly arbitrary.
It went on to say that the centre has supplied no meaningful evidence to suggest that the risk of COVID-19 virus transmission from unvaccinated people is higher than from vaccinated people.
The Supreme Court also ordered the Centre to make data on the negative consequences of the COVID-19 vaccine public.
Concerning the COVID-19 immunisation for children, the Supreme Court stated that it is not feasible to second-guess the conclusion of experts and that the vaccination adheres to worldwide norms and procedures.
The Supreme Court issued its decision in response to a petition brought by Dr. Jacob Puliyel claiming forceful vaccination of people and requesting publication of COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial data and post-vaccination data.
It demanded that the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial data and post-vaccination data be made public, arguing that it is obligatory and required that the government disclose the data in accordance with international medical standards.
Dr. Puliyel has also requested a delay on the COVID-19 vaccination requirements that are being issued by authorities around the country.
He further stated that the Helsinki and World Health Organization (WHO) demanded that all COVID-19 vaccination data and studies be made transparent, which was not done in this case.
The petition requested that the Centre disclose the reasoned decision of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granting approval or rejecting an application for emergency use authorization of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as post-vaccination data on the adverse impact of vaccines – who became infected, who required hospitalisation, and who died as a result of such infection following COVID-19 vaccination.