The Delhi High Court Wednesday questioned the central government on allegations of vaccines being introduced into the public health system without proper medical studies.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Manmohan asked the government to study the incidents of diseases for which the vaccines are being developed and whether these vaccines are efficient enough.
The bench asked the government to study the side effects of vaccines and the cost factor involved in preparing them. The next hearing will be Dec 8.
The court was hearing a petition alleging that irrational vaccines were being introduced in the public health system by the government under the influence of vaccine manufacturers and international agencies like the World Health Organization (WHO) without medical studies.
‘We just want to highlight how in the absence of a rational vaccine policy, newer and newer vaccines are being pushed by the government into the national immunization programme,’ said petitioner’s counsel Prashant Bhushan.
‘Vaccines which are either of little utility or which are not required at all are being introduced and promoted by the government at the behest of vested interests,’ he said.
‘At a time when the government has utterly failed to ensure that every child receives these vaccines and the country is facing a shortage of these vaccines, new vaccines of questionable utility and efficacy are sought to be introduced in an arbitrary and irrational manner and at huge cost,’ said Bhushan.