SC judges to get vaccine today, no choice between Covaxin, Covishield
Supreme Court judges, sitting and former, and their family members will get Covid-19 vaccine shots starting from today, a day after India began the second phase of vaccination with Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking his first dose of Covaxin at AIIMS. Several other ministers, including Union home minister Amit Shah, foreign minister S Jaishankar, and many chief ministers got inoculated on Monday. Out of 30 judges, Justice Surya Kant who is 59 years old is not eligible for vaccination.
On March 1, India's vaccination drive also entered the 40th day. According to health ministry data, the cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered since January 16 crossed 1.47 crore on Monday.
In the second phase, senior citizens and people above 45 years with comorbidities are getting inoculated. Supreme Court judges and their families falling in this bracket will get vaccinated in accordance with the guidelines.
The apex court is gearing up to resume physical hearing soon, after it switched to video-conference hearing since March 24, 2020.
Six judges and many staff of the Supreme Court had contracted the virus during the pandemic. Now it has been decided that a hybrid manner of hearing will start soon in which physical hearing may take place on certain days in a week.
"The Chief Justice of India made it clear that the judges of Supreme Court themselves are willing to restart the open court hearings but there are medical and technical issues which the registry of Supreme Court of India is trying to sort out and solve. Therefore, it will be done gradually," said a press release recently issued by the Bar Council of India.
The Supreme Court registry has arranged a vaccination facility on the premises in addition to the ones at the government hospitals listed for the vaccination. The cost of vaccination will be as per the Central government’s guidelines. Private hospitals can charge up to ₹250 per shot.
The judges will not be able to choose between Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech, and Covishield, developed by Pune's Serum Institute of India.