“Out of 180 crore covid vaccines administered, only 0.004% adverse events reported”: Centre defends Vaccine program

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The Central Government has informed the Supreme Court that the total number of doses administered is 180,13,23,547 in the country and the total number of adverse events reported (including minor, severe and serious cases) are 77,314 [0.004%].

The data has been supplied to top court in its response to the plea challenging the vaccine mandate in a PIL which has stated that vaccines are being administered to the public without testing its safety and that adequate data is not being disclosed to the public.

The Central Government in its affidavit has stated that the vaccine has proved to be very effective and safe. It is found that both the vaccines generate antibodies and adverse events are also found to be minimum.

"The efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of these vaccines, which are rolled out after an elaborate procedure by domain experts, are also accepted by World Health Organisation which shows recognition by global experts also," the affidavit added.

Over the question raised in the petition regarding vaccines or validity of its mandatory application [as illustrated in some cases and in some States], is essentially a personal right, Centre submitted that, "The petitioner‟s prayer, in pith and substance, is for a writ of this Court not to vaccinate others. The petitioner wants his personal subjective views to be imposed on the rest of the country. Such petition can never be a Public Interest Litigation. No Public Interest Litigation can have even a possible effect of harming public interest."

In regard to the disclosure of segregated clinical trial data, the Central government has stated that, "By the very nature of the subject matter, there is a confidentiality attached to certain parts of the clinical trial process which cannot be compromised under the law."

"Such data cannot be demanded by anyone under the garb of filing of public interest litigation either to satisfy his curiosity or in furtherance of his attempts to create vaccine hesitancy in the country and which are, by its very nature, against public interest," the affidavit added.

In connection to the averments pertaining to lack of information in public domain which forms the very edifice of the arguments advanced, all documents relied upon by the Union of India in the submissions made herein are in public domain and on the website of the Ministry.

"It is submitted that the petitioner, who claims to be a public spirited person, has not conducted even basic due diligence in examining the information available in public domain and has made irresponsible and misleading averments. As such, a serious view may be taken by this Hon'ble Court on the series of false and misleading averments made by the petitioner," the affidavit added.

Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta (SG) had told Supreme Court that a person cannot claim to have a right to not get vaccinated against Covid19 as it cannot be one’s “right” to infect others.

Whereas, referring to the right of the citizen to choose whether to get vaccinated or not Mehta said, "Milord's euthanasia may be a right, a person may have a right to die but infecting someone else cannot be his right."

 Advocate Prashant Bhushan while arguing against the compulsory vaccine mandate had submitted that “It is unstick and irresponsible to use such untested vaccines on children. They are hardly affected by COVID. Chances of children dying of vaccine itself is more than chances of the child dying due to COVID.”

Bhushan had further argued that some schools are mandating not only the children to get vaccinated but are also forcing the parents to be vaccinated. On vaccination for children, Bhushan submitted that vaccines can cause Myocarditis in children. He argued that one in 1000 children can get Myocarditis because of the vaccination, however the chances of children becoming seriously ill because of COVID is one in a lakh.

Case title: Jacob Puliyel Vs Union of India & Ors.