Vaccination Not Compulsory For Any Indian Citizen; Vaccine Certificate Not Mandatory
Regarding the COVID-19 vaccination, the Central Government has made it clear that there is no COVID-19 vaccination mandate and that vaccination is not mandatory before the Supreme Court.
COVID-19 Vaccination Not Forced
The Central Government has submitted before the Supreme Court of India that its guidelines do not envisage any forcible vaccination without obtaining consent of the concerned individual, in response to a plea seeking ease of access to vaccination to persons with disabilities.
Although, they have emphasized that Covid-19 vaccination is in larger public interest.
They have duly advised, advertised and communicated through various print and social media platforms that all citizens should get vaccinated, said the Government further adding that no person can be forced to be vaccinated against their wishes.
The affidavit filed by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare says that “It is humbly submitted that the direction and guidelines released by Government of India and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, do not envisage any forcible vaccination without obtaining consent of the concerned individual. It is further humbly submitted that vaccination for COVID-19 is of larger public interest in view of the ongoing pandemic situation. It is duly advised, advertised and communicated through various print and social media platforms that all citizens should get vaccinated and systems and processes have been designed to facilitate the same. However, no person can be forced to be vaccinated against their wishes.It is most respectfully submitted that the Government of India has not issued any SOPs which make carrying of vaccination certificate mandatory for any purpose.
Counseling before vaccination: It is humbly submitted that the Government of India has formulated Operational Guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination. As per these Guidelines, all beneficiaries are to be informed about adverse events which may occur after COVID-19 vaccine.”
On December 3, 2021, the Union of India has made the submissions through an affidavit filed pursuant to Supreme Court’s directions.
In the affidavit, it had granted liberty to the petitioners to formulate concrete suggestions to strengthen the existing framework for protecting the disabled citizens at the same time, ensuring proper access to Covid 19 vaccination and had asked the Union Government to consider the same.
Vaccination Certificates Not Mandatory
So far, a total of 23678 doses have been administered to disabled persons.
They have voluntarily chosen to be identified as such by using their Unique Disability ID Card/Disability Certificate for registration at the time of their vaccination, as informed by the Union of India to the Court.
In response, the Government has stated that it has not issued any SOPs which make carrying of vaccination certificates mandatory for any purpose, to the petitioner’s submissions regarding providing exemption from producing vaccination certificates for persons with disabilities.
Regarding the suggestions about Care providers being treated as essential workers, the Center has submitted that the Government of India has advised all States and UTs to vaccinate bedridden or beneficiaries with extremely restricted mobility or disability and/or
special needs along with their caregivers at their place of residence using mobile vaccination teams in its letter dated 22.09.2021.
On the suggestion regarding Co-WIN app and portal being made fully accessible, the Government of India has responded that it is already implementing features in Co-WIN portal to make it more accessible to persons with disabilities.
Basically, the Government of India has formulated Operational Guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination, as per the submission.
All beneficiaries are to be informed about adverse events which may occur after COVID-19 vaccine., as per these guidelines.
In response to the suggestions regarding Exemption from masks/face-cover, the Government of India has stated that the practice of using masks/face cover is in line with the recommendation of the W.H.O (World Health Organisation) and other prominent public health agencies globally.
So, in the larger public interest, it is advisable that the use of masks or face covers be universally followed.