Covaxin Trial On Children “Amounts To Homicide”: Plea In Delhi HC

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The Delhi High Court received a plea that seeks a stay on the Bharat Biotech’s Covid Vaccine Covaxin phase II/III clinical trials on children ageing between 2 – 18 years. The plea states that children aren’t fit to become volunteers as they are not capable of understanding the consequences of the trial to consent to the same.

The petition against vaccine trials on children was filed in the month of May. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin trials on children have started at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna, on June 1. These are the part of phase II/III clinical trials of the indigenous Covaxin being done on children, aged between, 2-18 years.

The Health Ministry reportedly said, “the trials are going to be conducted on 525 healthy volunteers. The vaccine will be given by intramuscular route in two doses – one administered on the first day and the other 28 days later.”

Petitioner Sanjeev Kumar has claimed in his application that while the issue was pending before the Delhi High Court with notices issued to the Centre and Bharat Biotech, the trials have already commenced from June. He further added that the court did not grant the stay and the government has gone ahead with the testing of the vaccine on children.

The petitioner Kumar also added that the next hearing was going to be on July 15 and since the government has already started the trials on children the plea challenging the permission granted by DCGI will become infructuous.

The petition has been filed, according to Kumar, to protect the children from the adverse effects on the mental and physical health of being test subjects. He claimed that children cannot be considered as volunteers as they are not capable of understanding the consequences of the trial to consent to the same.

Kumar also reportedly said that conducting the tests on children would amount to ‘homicide’. Kumar’s petition also seeks criminal prosecution against the people if the trials result in ‘loss of peaceful and pleasant enjoyment of life’.

Picture Credits: Business Standard