The Union Health Ministry informed the Supreme Court in response to a petition by the parents of two girls who had died as a result of COVID vaccine side effects that although the deaths were unfortunate, the government could not be held accountable.
” the concept of informed consent is inapplicable to the voluntary use of a drug such as a vaccine. While the Government of India strongly encourages all eligible persons to undertake vaccination in public interest, there is no legal compulsion for the same,” an affidavit filed by the government said.
In addition to asking for financial compensation for the parents, the petition asks the government to issue regulations for the early identification and care of those who have negative vaccine side effects.
Additionally, it was emphasised that as the vaccinations are made by outside parties, a strict liability on the Union or State governments for giving the vaccine is not lawfully tenable.
“There is no material to suggest how the State can fastened with strict liability for the tragic death of the respective children of the Petitioners which is the requirement in law to sustain a claim for compensation against the State under Article 32 of the Constitution,” the affidavit stated.