New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Directing the central government to publish adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccination, the Supreme Court on Monday said that no person can be forced to get inoculation against his or her wishes. A two-judge bench which included Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice BR Gavai, however, said it is satisfied that the current vaccine policy is not "arbitrary".

"Considering bodily autonomy, bodily integrity is protected under article 21. No one can be forced to get vaccinated. (But) government can regulate in areas of bodily autonomy," the court said, as reported by Bar and Bench.

Noting that the government can regulate in areas of bodily autonomy, the apex court also said that vaccine trial data should be put in public domain. It also said that no restriction should be imposed on individuals on access to public areas till COVID numbers are low.

"Till numbers are low, we suggest that relevant orders are followed and no restriction is imposed on individuals on access to public areas or recall the same if already not done," Bar and Bench quoted the Supreme Court bench as saying.

The Supreme Court made the remarks while hearing a plea filed by former National Technical Advisory Group (NTAG) member Dr Jacob Puliyel. In his petition, Dr Puliyel sought directions for disclosure of data on clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines and post-jab cases.

"In India, the manner in which the vaccines have been licensed vitiates and even precludes the possibility that the vaccines can be evaluated objectively in the future," Dr Puliyel said in his plea, as reported by Bar and Bench.

COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched in India on January 16, 2021, after the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave emergency use approval (EUA) to Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. According to the lates information available at the Union Health Ministry website, India has administered more than 189.23 crore vaccine doses till now.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma