SC seeks response of Centre on PIL seeking publication of COVID vaccine trial data

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Monday sought the response from the Centre on a plea seeking public disclosure of data regarding clinical trials and post-vaccination efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.

While issuing a notice to the Centre on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), a bench of justices L Nageswara Rao and Hrishikesh Roy noted that a judicial order to publish data on clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines and post-vaccination side-effects may feed vaccine hesitancy amid the pandemic.

“Once we entertain this petition it should not send a signal that we do not trust the efficacy of these vaccines,” the bench asserted.

Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, who appeared for the petitioner argued, “Centre says vaccines are completely voluntary. (But) Nobody can be coerced by saying that services will be denied if you don’t have the vaccination. See what is happening now.”

The petition has been filed by Jacob Puliyel, a former member of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, seeking segregated data from the clinical trials of the vaccines that are part of the country’s vaccination drive against Covid-19.

In other countries, this type of observation has helped identify the occurrence of blood clots and strokes in vaccine recipients,” the plea further said, adding that many countries stopped administering the vaccine till they evaluated this occurrence.

The plea also alleged that the vaccines currently being administered have not been adequately tested for safety or efficacy are now licensed under Emergency Use Authorisation without the data being disclosed to the public.