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Home >News >India >Will citizens need 3rd or booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine? Bombay High Court asks Maharashtra govt

MUMBAI : The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Maharashtra government if citizens, who had received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, will need a third dose or a booster shot of the vaccine anytime in future.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni said that at a recent meeting with the state government, the Maharashtra COVID-19 task force had mentioned that despite having taken both doses of Covishield or Covaxin, citizens might need a third or a booster shot of vaccine to protect themselves from several variants of the coronavirus.

"Please check how far is a third or booster dose necessary," the HC said. "The state task force had said a third dose might be required to be taken 10 months from receiving the second shot of Covishield, and six months from the second Covaxin dose. Is that still the case?" the HC asked Maharashtra Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni.

The HC was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations seeking redressal of several issues related to the management of resources to fight COVID-19, preparations for the third wave of the pandemic, and problems faced while booking vaccination slots on the CoWIN portal.

During the hearing, the Maharashtra government informed the bench that of the 12.23 crore people in the state, 3.35 crore had received the first dose of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 1.13 crore people had received both doses, it said. The state also told the HC that it continued to face shortage of vaccine allocation from the Union government.

A civic doctor appearing in the pleas told the HC that as of today, at least 20 lakh people in the city were due to receive their second dose, but the city was receiving only five to seven lakh vaccine vials on a daily basis. Advocates Anita Castellino and Jamshed Master, two of the petitioners in the above pleas, also pointed out that in some cases, citizens were being issued vaccination certificates with incorrect names and batch number of the vaccine received, and there existed no mechanism to get the same corrected.

The HC directed both the state and the Union government to file their respective affidavits, addressing all the concerns raised during the hearing. The bench also suggested that the state government and the Centre consider opening dedicated ticket counters at railway stations for fully vaccinated people.

These counters can issue fresh identity cards and travel passes to citizens after they produce their vaccination certificate along with the Aadhaar card to verify their identity and confirm that they have received both doses of the vaccine, the court said. The HC will continue hearing the pleas on August 23.

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