SC says ‘can’t play with lives’ on plea to allow revaccination with Covishield

The petition, which was lodged by lawyer Kartik Seth stated that owing to Covaxin’s non-recognition by the WHO, several students and other people, who are willing to go overseas, are facing issues as they’re denied entry into the country.
Bharat Biotech had applied for the WHO nod in for Covaxin's emergency use listing in late April this year.
Bharat Biotech had applied for the WHO nod in for Covaxin's emergency use listing in late April this year.
Published on Oct 30, 2021 12:06 AM IST
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Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Friday said that it will await the decision of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the emergency use authorisation of Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, and cannot simply ask the central government to revaccinate people, fully vaccinated with the jab, with Covishield doses.

Hearing a petition that called for permitting individuals, inoculated with both shots of Covaxin and voluntarily wanting to get revaccinated with Covishield, the bench of justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna said that it cannot play with the lives of people as it doesn’t have any data to what will be the effect of such mixing of varied Covid-19 vaccines.

“We cannot play with the lives of people by directing the Centre to revaccinate. We don't have any data with us. We have read in newspapers that Bharat Biotech has filed an application with the World Health Organisation for recognition. Let us wait for the response of WHO. We will take up this matter post-Diwali vacation,” news agency ANI reported, quoting the top court.

The petition, which was lodged by lawyer Kartik Seth stated that owing to Covaxin’s non-recognition by the WHO, several students and other people, who are willing to go overseas, are facing issues as they’re denied entry into the country.

The WHO approval of Covaxin was delayed further on Tuesday after a meeting by the United Nations health agency on the same day. Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has been asked for additional data by the WHO, and will meet again on November 3 to discuss the emergency use listing (EUL) of the indigenous Covid-19 vaccine.

Bharat Biotech had applied for the WHO nod in late April this year.

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