The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Centre over a plea challenging the safety of trials of indigenous anti-COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin over children between two and 18 years of age.
The Central government last week gave a nod for trials on children. So far, no company has conducted any trials of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine over children in India and the children are also not permitted to get inoculated against COVID-19 in the ongoing vaccination drive.
The petition filed by Advocate Sanjeev Kumar assails the May 13 order of the Central government granting permission to Bharat Biotech (manufacturer of Covaxin) to conduct phase II/III trials of the COVID-19 vaccine on persons aged 2-18 years will adversely affect the physical and mental health of such children, and may even result in the loss of their lives.
Therefore, such an order is prima facie unlawful, arbitrary and contrary to the principles of natural justice, the petitioner claimed as reported by Bar and Bench.
However, the divisional bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh refused to stay the trials.
“It is argued that consent for such trials will be given by the parents of the child volunteers, the same would be unlawful as it is not in the best interest of the children, the petitioner added.
Further, it is claimed that given the socio-economic scenario of the country, the possibility of parental consent being obtained through questionable enticements and monetary considerations cannot be ruled out.