Shillong: The Meghalaya High Court, on Thursday directed the state government to deal with the vaccine hesitation issue on a priority basis.
“We reiterate our earlier observation and direct the state government to deal with the vaccine hesitation issue on a priority basis – with full earnest – effectively,” a division bench of Chief Justice Biswanath Somadder and Judge of the High Court, Justice H.S.Thangkhiew ordered.
On June 23 last, the High Court had observed that “requirement of vaccination should be directory and not mandatory”, even as it clearly and unequivocally stated that “vaccination is the need of the hour” and in fact “an absolute necessity in order to overcome this global pandemic”.
The Court has listed the matter for further hearing on August 9 next when the Advocate General will be required to apprise the Court “more specifically” as to the manner in which the vaccine hesitation issue is being dealt with by the state government.
“Time for filing of reports by the Secretaries of all the District Legal Services Authorities, in terms of our judgment and order dated 23rdJune, 2021, stands extended till then,” the Court said.
“So far as the vaccine hesitation issue is concerned, we have categorically observed in our judgment and order dated June 23, 2021, as to how the same is required to be dealt with by the state government,” the court pointed out.
“However, from the submissions advanced by the learned Advocate General, it appears that the issue still remains to be addressed effectively. … we had made it clear that this court shall monitor this issue closely so that the state government is able to overcome the vaccine hesitation problem at the earliest and all eligible persons in the state of Meghalaya are vaccinated well within the timeframe as may be specified by the State,” the court underscored.