Superstition stands in way of people getting vaccinated, says High Court

Educate them about the importance of taking jabs, says court

The Madras High Court on Monday said that superstition and archaic beliefs in some communities appear to be the reason for the hesitation among some people in voluntarily taking the COVID-19 vaccine shots. It impressed upon the need for the Centre and State government to educate citizens, particularly those in rural areas, about the imminent necessity to step forward and take the COVID-19 vaccine shots without hesitation.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, in their interim order on a suo motu public interest litigation petition, wrote: “Superstitions and archaic beliefs practised in some communities stand in the way of scientific measures being implemented and there continues to be a resistance to accepting vaccination in certain sections of the society. The Centre and the State should take appropriate measures to allay the misgivings that may be harboured in such regard.”

When advocate C. Kanagaraj suggested that food delivery executives, advocates and judges should also be given priority in the vaccination drive to be taken up during the next month or two, the judges said it would be open to the State to take a considered decision in such regard. The court hoped that the vaccine doses would be available in adequate numbers after the manufacturers ramp up their production in the days to come.

The court also observed that though cases of mucormycosis had been reported in the State, the required drugs were in short supply. It recorded the submission made by Additional Solicitor General R. Sankaranarayanan that measures had been put in place to manufacture the drugs immediately and in bulk, upon reducing the quantum of production of other medicines for the moment.

“It appears that both the State of Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry have been able to manage the second surge of the pandemic and the worst, it is hoped, is over. There appears to be a slight fall in the number of daily positive cases reported both in Tamil Nadu and in Puducherry. The number of deaths have gone up but compared to the figures in the rest of the country, the incidence of fatality in the State of Tamil Nadu is among the lowest,” the order read.

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