The Delhi High Court on May 31 directed the central government to decide “as early as possible” a representation for priority in COVID vaccination to non-resident Indians and students who are waiting to move abroad for studies.
The plea by Pravasi Legal Cell, the petitioner, also sought to include passport numbers in the vaccination certificate of those intending to travel to foreign nations.
In the PIL, the NGO claimed that NRIs, who came to India during the pandemic and got stuck, have to go back to their respective countries since the infections have declined in several countries and resumption of international flights.
However, foreign countries only allow entering those who are fully vaccinated, and if they don’t get preference, it would badly affect them, as per the petition.
It also stated that the United States and European nations are only granting entry to those who have been inoculated, and hence, it was crucial to prioritize such individuals.
It further said that foreign nations consider the vaccination certificate only when they have the passport number on it. Therefore, “a vaccination certificate carrying the Aadhar number in place of the passport number cannot be produced as a valid document with updated rules in various countries,” the petition read.
Addressing another concern about available vaccines in India, it added, “The vaccine beneficiaries who have got both doses of Covaxin might not be allowed to travel to any countries of their preference as the Bharat Biotech’s produced Covaxin has not been got an approval from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) yet.”