While hearing a plea based case on Friday, a division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh observed, “It would be a disaster if vaccines are administered without trials that too in case of children.”
Tia Gupta, a minor, had filed a PIL seeking immediate vaccination for minors between 12 and 17 years of age.
Based on this plea, an affidavit was submitted by the Centre which said that a government policy will be developed and children will be vaccinated once experts approve.
The Centre notified the High Court that clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines for children under 18 years of age are in progress and nearing completion.
Kailash Vasudev, appearing for the petitioner, argued that a specific timeline should be established for the completion of vaccine trials for children.
In response to which court officials warned that the case would be dismissed if the petitioner made such submissions. They added a timeline for the research was not possible.
The Centre informed the Delhi High Court that Zydus Cadila's COVID-19 vaccine may be available soon for children in the 12 to 18 year age group.
They added that while the trial of Zydus Cadila for children between the ages of 12 and 18 has been concluded, it is still subject to statutory approvals.
Earlier this month, the Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical firm sought emergency use approval for ZyCoV-D. World's first Plasmid DNA vaccine, it is administered in three doses.
However, India's drug regulator, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), is yet to approve the emergency use authorisation.
In addition, the affidavit claimed that vaccination is of the highest priority at the Center and that all endeavours are being made to reach 100 per cent vaccination in the shortest time possible while taking into account the availability of vaccine doses.
(With inputs from Agencies)