Chhattisgarh Govt Suspends Covid-19 Vaccination for 18-44 Age Group

The Chhattisgarh government has suspended the third phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive for people aged 18 to 44, after the high court’s order to modify the plan that prioritised inoculation of the economically weaker sections of society, an official said on Thursday. The state government has constituted a committee headed by the state’s chief secretary to finalise a fresh plan to distribute vaccines in the third phase in an equitable manner, the public relations department official said.

The state government in an order on April 30 said vaccines will be first given to the Antyodaya group (poorest among poor), followed by those in the below poverty line (BPL) category and then to people in the above poverty line (APL) group, in the third phase of the drive that began on May 1. Hearing the intervention applications challenging the state government’s decision, the Chhattisgarh High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to fix the ratio of allotment of vaccines in an equitable manner.

“In light of the HC’s order, the state government has constituted a panel of secretaries, headed by chief secretary, which will deliberate on relevant aspects, including vulnerability, chance to spread the disease and the number of eligible persons in the group,” the official said. The court has directed to amend the state’s April 30 order and said the state government must fix a reasonable ratio for allotment of vaccines to the Antyodaya group and persons belonging to the and APL categories, he said.

It will take some time for the committee to submit its recommendations and to finalise the fresh inoculation plan, the official said. “Continuing the inoculation drive for the Antyodaya group will amount to violation of the court’s order and therefore, the vaccination for the age group of 18 to 44 years is being suspended,” he said.

The vaccination for people aged above 45 years will continue in the state, the official added.

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