Set time frame for supply of vaccine to state: Kerala High Court directs Centre
Thiruvananthapuram/IBNS: The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the Centre to inform when the coronavirus vaccines required by the state can be supplied and also set a time frame for it, said media reports.
The court said this while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the manufacturing policy, transfer of technology, patent and supply of Covid-19 vaccines, said a Hindustan Times report.
The bench of Justices Raja Vijayaraghavan and M R Anitha expressed concern over the long wait to get the vaccine shots amid the rise in the deadly infection.
“Give a time-frame within which vaccines can be supplied to the state. If you delay the whole thing, new mutations will come up and people will die. Give a timeline, so we will get a picture,” the bench observed, said the HT report.
The petitioner (Dr K P Aravindan) said if the Centre agrees to transfer technology there are at least 19 other vaccine manufacturers who can start with the production and many lives could be saved.
He also raised questions on the different pricing of vaccines and said the government should make public the information on the intellectual property rights of vaccines for people's knowledge.
Aravindan also contended that the difference in pricing, creating two classes in the vaccination policy--one for the state government and one for the Centre--resulted is a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution (right to equality).
He said the intellectual property rights of Covaxin owned by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Centre can be transferred to other manufacturers to scale up the production.
The petitioner said it is possible to have the required bio-safety levels incorporated into manufacturing units within a short period of time.
The court noted that the coronavirus situation in the state was grave and at the current rate of vaccination, it will take two years to vaccinate the entire state.
The lawyer appearing for the Centre sought time to file a detailed reply to the petition as many intricacies were involved, to which the court agreed and set next Friday for hearing the PIL.