Supreme Court: “No One Can Be Forced To Get Vaccinated”. What Would Be Its Impact On People?

In a landmark decision on India’s Covid vaccine policy, While directing the central government to publish reports on the adverse effects of vaccination, during a landmark decision on India’s Covid vaccine policy, the Supreme Court stated that “No one can be forced to take the vaccine. Restrictions imposed on individuals through vaccine mandates cannot be called to be proportionate”.

The Supreme Court stated that the Bodily integrity is protected under the law and nobody can be forced to be vaccinated. However, the court also asserted that “certain limitations on individual rights” could be imposed in the interest of community health.

“Barring Covid-appropriate behaviour, we suggest no curbs on unvaccinated individuals in access to public places, services and resources if cases are low,” the SC further added.
Supreme Court Justices LN Rao and BR Gavai added that their directives did not extend to Covid-appropriate behaviour, but was limited to vaccines in the “rapidly evolving situation”.
Restrictions imposed on individuals through vaccine mandates cannot be called to be proportionate, the court said – a refence to many states making it essential for people to get the Covid shot to access public places. “Till infection numbers are low we suggest that no restriction is imposed on individuals on access to public places, services and resources. Recall the same if already done,” the Supreme Court ordered.

Talking about the cases linked to adverse effects, the court has told the central government “to facilitate information of all suspected adverse effects on a virtual platform which is easily accessible to the public.”

Referring to vaccines for children, the court approved “the policy to vaccinate those under 18 but directed the centre to make public all clinical trials, key findings and results of vaccines” that have already been cleared.
Though, with this, the challenges for the central as well as several state govts have increased. There are some people who are still unvaccinated, amongst which there is a section that has been against vaccination. With these people going to various crowded places like shopping malls, street markets, railway stations, airports etc, it will be a new challenge for the administration to monitoring the unvaccinated people and controlling the spread of the virus, specially in the schools and educational institutions. However, currently the number of cases are way much less as compared to that of the second wave.

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