New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) The measles and rubella (MR) vaccination programme, which was deferred following an intervention by the Delhi High Court, does not override the consent of students, said state’s health authorities for the campaign.
“It is totally wrong to say that vaccination was administered without consent. Though there has never been the process of seeking permission for any vaccination from guardians, people are free to refuse vaccination as we don’t force anyone,” Dr Suresh Seth, Delhi programme chief for immunisation told IANS on Wednesday.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday deferred implementation of the “Measles and Rubella (MR) Vaccine Immunisation Campaign”, saying that vaccination cannot be administered “forcibly” and without the consent of parents.
The court’s order came while hearing pleas by parents of some minor students at city’s schools alleging that the MR campaign is a “violation of the fundamental rights” of the students as their consent had not been taken.
“We will comply with court’s orders. Our preparations are same and will start the very next day the high court gives clearance for the campaign,” Dr Seth said.
The Delhi Health Department will also share inputs with the Health and Welfare Family Ministry, which has been asked by the high court to respond by January 21.
The measles and rubella vaccination campaign was scheduled to begin in the national capital from January 15, aiming at immunising nearly 55 lakh children in the age group of 9 months up to 15 years across 11 districts of Delhi.
The prime target, according to the Ministry, is immunising children in the pre-schools, school children from both government and private institutions and those out of school.