Chhattisgarh to resume Covid jabs for 18-44 age group

The state will resume vaccination for all three categories from Saturday, sources said.

Disapproving of the state government’s decision to stop vaccination in the 18-44 age group, the Chhattisgarh High Court on Friday ordered that the state should resume the vaccination drive immediately, and provide vaccination to Antyoday card holders, BPL and APL in a 1:3 ratio. The state will resume vaccination for all three categories from Saturday, sources said.

Chhattisgarh had stopped vaccination from May 4 after the High Court objected to the state’s policy of vaccination based on economic status. The court had asked the government to formulate a new vaccination policy, following which a committee under the chief secretary was formed. Stating that the committee would take time to formulate a plan, the vaccination of 18-44 age group was postponed until further orders.

On Friday, the bench of Chief Justice P R Ramachandra Menon and Justice P P Sahu expressed their disapproval of the state’s decision to stop vaccination. Stating that the court had not passed any order restraining the state from continuing its vaccination drive, the bench said, “We do not appreciate the action of the state government in totally stopping the vaccination to the residents of the state coming within the age group of above 18 years and less than 45 years. The vaccination is a life saving measure from the disastrous coronavirus. Considering the life threat due to Covid-19 pandemic, need of hour is maximum vaccination in the shortest possible time.”

“The liberty granted by this court for continuing with the vaccination in the ratio of 1:3 to each class specified by the state government, shall govern the field for the time being. The state government shall start the vaccination immediately.”

Secretary, health department, Alok Shukla said, “The court’s order shall be complied with, no question in that.”

Later in the day, district health officials were informed to restart the vaccination of 18-44 age group, while ensuring that each sub-classification (APL, BPL and Antyodaya card holders) constitute 33 per cent of the total vaccinated population.

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