No one can be forced to get vaccinated: SC

Tags: National News

The Supreme Court said that no person can be compelled to vaccinate against COVID-19, but it also said that "so long as there is a danger of spreading the disease, the rights of the people can be restricted in the wider public interest.

Right not to get vaccinated

  • The bench upheld a person's right to physical integrity and personal autonomy in the light of vaccines and other public health measures.

  • Physical integrity is protected under Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution and no person can be forced to vaccinate.

  • The court struck a balance between the individual's right to bodily integrity and denial of treatment with the government's concern for public health.

  • Vaccine Hesitancy

  • People's reluctance to receive safe and recommended available vaccines is known as 'vaccine hesitancy'.

  • There are five main reasons for vaccine hesitation-

  1. Confidence

  2. Complacency

  3. Convenience (or constraints)

  4. Risk calculation

  5. Collective responsibility

  • What was challenged in the petition?

  • Dr Jacob Pulial, a former member of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), had filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the mandatory requirement of the vaccine.

  • The petition has also sought to make public the clinical data of vaccination.

  • The petition said that the Centre says that getting the vaccine is voluntary, but the states have made it mandatory.

  • Instructions to the central government

  • The Supreme Court directed the Central Government to make public the reports received from the public and doctors regarding the incidence of side effects of vaccines without compromising on the confidentiality of personal data.

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