SC seeks Centre's reply on plea of DCPCR for priority COVID-19 vaccination of pregnant women

DCPCR, pregnant women, vaccination, Supreme Court, Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights

The Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear a plea seeking direction to the Centre to declare pregnant as well as lactating women as high-risk category and be given priority for COVID-19 vaccination. A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and B V Nagarathna issued notice to the Centre on the plea of Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) and sought its response within two weeks.

Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for DCPCR, said the Centre has issued some guidelines for vaccination of pregnant women and lactating mothers but now it is being stated that there may be some adverse effect on them due to vaccination.

She said there is a need to declare women in these conditions as high-risk categories and since people are dealing with a virus which they do not know much about, there is a need to conduct continuous research on the effects of vaccination on them.

There is also a need to create a platform for registry of pregnant and lactating mothers for proper monitoring, she said.

The top court noted that the petition instituted by DCPCR under Article 32 was filed in May earlier this year amid the second wave of COVID-19 and subsequently operational guidelines were issued for vaccination of pregnant women and lactating mothers.

The bench said it is issuing notice to the Union of India and seeking its response in two weeks.

The top court also sought assistance of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to apprise the court about the policy which has been formulated for the vaccination of pregnant women and lactating mothers and what further steps could be taken.

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