Unveiling India's Vaccine Drive Dilemma: Government's lack of accountability under scrutiny

Earlier in 2022, the Union government distanced itself from liability for vaccine-related fatalities, deflecting aggrieved individuals towards civil courts for recourse

Author
Prateek Gautam
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India's vaccination saga unfolds against a backdrop of controversy, with concerns over efficacy and safety looming large. However, at the heart of this discourse lies a deeper issue: the government's apparent reluctance to accept accountability for vaccine-related adversities.

Delving into Covishield Case

AstraZeneca's acknowledgment of Covishield's rare side effects, particularly blood clotting and low platelet count, served as a stark reminder of the vaccine's complexities. Despite its widespread administration in India, the Serum Institute of India (SII) produced jab faces mounting scrutiny, overshadowing its intended role as a shield against COVID-19.

Government's Approval and Administration Gambit

While the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) greenlit Covishield and several other vaccines for emergency use, the government's approval seemed to outpace its readiness to shoulder responsibility. With over 220 crore doses administered, Covishield emerged as the cornerstone of India's immunization campaign, yet concerns lingered over adverse events and the absence of robust accountability mechanisms.

Tragic Tales of Loss Amidst Vaccine Rollout

The heart-wrenching accounts of two young women's untimely demise post-Covishield inoculation underscored the human toll of systemic inadequacies. As bereaved families sought answers and justice, the government's evasive manoeuvres spotlighted a glaring accountability deficit in India's vaccination narrative.

Government's Deflection of Responsibility

Earlier in 2022, the Union government distanced itself from liability for vaccine-related fatalities, deflecting aggrieved individuals towards civil courts for recourse. This bureaucratic stance laid bare the government's reluctance to proactively address vaccine-induced tragedies.

Sovereign Immunity: A Shield Against Justice?

Echoes of immunity resonate not just in India but also across the globe, with the United States shielding vaccine manufacturers and regulatory bodies from legal repercussions. Sovereign immunity, deeply rooted in historical precedents, serves as a shield against litigation, reminiscent of bygone monarchial eras.

Navigating Towards Transparency and Accountability

As India grapples with the fallout of its vaccination drive, the imperative for transparency, accountability, and proactive governance becomes unequivocal. By prioritizing citizen welfare over bureaucratic self-preservation, the government can chart a course towards rebuilding public trust and fostering a culture of accountability, ensuring that no life is lost in vain amidst the quest for collective immunity.