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‘Why are we wasting even one vaccine shot?’ Delhi HC during hearing on Covid-19

The Delhi high court on Tuesday expressed serious concerns about wastage of Covid-19 vaccines, and stressed on the need to vaccinate more and more people. The court’s observations came during a hearing on a petition filed by a lawyer Rakesh Malhotra seeking directions from the court to ramp up tests and take immediate measures to contain the grim Covid situation in the national capital.

Citing news reports, the bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said, “The number of vaccines have been wasted is 44 lakh out of 10 crore vaccine. The vials have to be consumed once it has to be opened. Now the once which are not used are being wasted.”

“Why are we wasting even one shot, why can’t we deal with it?” the bench further said.

The judges also suggested creating a mobile application consisting of a list of people who can be vaccinated. “Give it to people willing to take it. Those drops which can save the lives, are being wasted,” said the court.

Talking about the dip in vaccination numbers, the court said, “If we wait for 10 days, the problem may persist. We are losing on valuable and young lives. The pandemic does not discriminate. Whomsoever needs vaccines, give them. Everyone needs vaccination.”

According to Hindustan Times’ vaccine tracker, nearly 5 per cent vaccines are wasted in the national capital.

In a meeting with the chief ministers earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that a major part of Covid-19 management is to prevent vaccine wastage and appealed to the youth of the country to help people above 45 to get vaccinated.

The Prime Minister said the efforts are being made to improve the maximum manufacturing facility of the vaccine. Meanwhile, the development of new vaccines is also underway, he added.

Days after that, Russia’s Sputnik V received the approval from India’s drug regulator for emergency use during Covid-19 crisis. It will now be used along with Covishield and Covaxin being used in the country for inoculating people as part of nationwide vaccination drive launched on January 16.