The Delhi High Court today sought response of the centre on a plea by a cancer patient seeking permission to take Covaxin as the second dose of vaccine as advised by the doctors, instead of Covishield which was administered to him as the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Justice Rekha Palli issued notice to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and asked the authorities to file a response to the petition while considering it as a case of special need.
"He is a cancer patient and has special needs. Experts should also consider this," the court said while listing the matter for further hearing on October 28.
Central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia accepted the notice on behalf of the ministry.
Petitioner Madhur Mittal said in September last year, he was diagnosed with cancer (stage four renal cell carcinoma) and was advised for urgent operation for removal of infected organs, that is, kidney, and lymph nodes, and in October 2020, he was operated on and the infected organs were removed.
Advocate Nitesh Jain, representing the petitioner, said on March 13 this year, he got his first dose of Covishield vaccine and soon after, he developed a severe reaction and had to be hospitalised for four days.
The plea said it has been advised to the petitioner to get himself checked from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre New York, USA, for cancer treatment and he approached the institution for an appointment.
The petition, filed through advocate Sanjay S Chhabra, said Mr Mittal wanted to get himself vaccinated with both the doses of COVID-19 vaccination, and as per the doctor's advice and prior complications of Covidshield vaccine, he shall take Covaxin as the second dose.
The plea said when the man tried to book a slot for Covaxin as the second dose on the COWIN website, he was unable to do so as the application only books slots in the same category of the vaccine.
"As per the government advisory, respondent has advised the public at large to take the COVID-19 vaccine both doses of the same company, but there are also many cases, where there are mixing of COVID-19 vaccine with another vaccine and have given better results. There is no other recognised way for the petitioner to get Covaxin as the second dose, hence the petitioner is filing the present writ petition," the plea said.
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