HC tells Delhi government told to advertise pros and cons of MR vaccine
The measles-rubella vaccination campaign in Delhi, which was to initially begin on January 16 and was deferred for a week, has been pushed further as the matter on whether express consent was needed for the drive to be carried out in schools is still pending.Updated: Jan 22, 2019 15:44 IST
The Delhi high court on Monday told the Delhi government that it should come out with advertisements in newspapers listing the pros and cons of the MR (measles and rubella) vaccine, a state government campaign that was deferred after it was challenged by a few parents in court.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru said the advertisements should be quarter page in size and should be published in English, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi. It asked the department concerned in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to analyse the effects of the MR vaccine.
“Person must know that in these particular cases, vaccination is harmful,” Justice Bakhru said, adding there is more consent when a person has taken an informed decision.
The court’s order and observation came while it was hearing the pleas of a few parents, who said the MR campaign was a violation of the fundamental rights of the students as consent had not been taken from their wards.
The measles-rubella vaccination campaign in Delhi, which was to initially begin on January 16 and was deferred for a week, has been pushed further as the matter on whether express consent was needed for the drive to be carried out in schools is still pending.
The court asked both parties to come with a consensual order, which is likely to be finalised on Tuesday. The draft order would include suggestions from both the Delhi government and the petitioner’s counsel on the campaign.
No formal orders were passed in Monday’s hearing.
A Delhi government official said, “For now, the court has directed us to publish an advertisement. The matter about the consent is yet to be decided. If we have to seek written consent from parents of all the children, it may extend the campaign. We are looking at the best way to reach every child between the ages of 9 months and 15 years.
The court said a consent form be given to the parents but they can take an informed decision when they know about the pros and cons of the vaccine.
The matter would be now heard on Tuesday.
Under the campaign, 55.5 lakh children in Delhi are to be vaccinated. This is a national campaign targeted at eliminating measles and controlling rubella. 22 crore children from 30 states and union territories have already received the vaccine.
First Published: Jan 22, 2019 15:43 IST