On Tuesday, The Kerala HC asked the Center to clarify the reason for the 84-days gap between the two Covishield vaccine doses.
The court said it wanted to know whether the 84-day interval between two doses of Covishield depended on the availability of the vaccine or its effectiveness.
Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar sought clarification when Kitex Garments Ltd, Kochi, filed a writ petition seeking a directive to the State government to allow them to administer the second dose of the covishield vaccine to its workers without following the stipulated 84 days period.
The court said that if the 84 days gap was based on the availability of vaccines, then those willing to buy it could be allowed to take the second dose before the time period allotted. In fact, hundreds of people who were willing to pay for the vaccine were waiting for the end of the gap days.
The state government stated that it is following the central government’s policy on vaccination and without the centre changing its policy; it would not be possible for them to allow for the gap reduction between the doses.
The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the centre has determined the policy because the vaccines are supplied by it. If vaccines can be purchased individually, the government should not insist on the 84-days gap between the two vaccine doses.
Kitex claimed in its petition that it has already vaccinated more than 5,000 of its employees with the first dose and had also arranged vaccines for the second dose. However, they weren’t able to administer the same due to the restrictions prescribed by the central government on the administration of vaccines.
The counsel for Central Government – Daya Sindhu Shreehari had sought time to get further instruction in the matter.
Accordingly, the case has been listed for further hearing on Thursday.