Madras High Court directs order to the state government to ensure that the vaccination centers are accessible to a person with disabilities, a petition filed by Meenakshi Balasubramanian and Mr.A.Yogeshwaran under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issue of Writ of Mandamus to direct the 1st respondent to include Persons with Disability and their caregivers as a priory group for administering COVID-19 vaccine.
Court orders " the State is agreeable to provide a separate counter at all vaccination centers run by the Government all over the State to vaccinate only persons with disabilities." Persons with disabilities should be given priority in being vaccinated even if the numbers do not warrant an exclusive counter being set up at every Government vaccination center. The court said, "The State may also consider administering the vaccine to persons above the age of 18 but suffering from any form of disability as indicated in the Schedule to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 instead of confining it to the disabilities indicated in the Union's annexure."
The court's order also states that every endeavor should be made by the State to enable vaccination as expeditiously as possible to protect the lives of persons with disabilities. Immediate steps should be taken by the State to ensure that vaccination centers are accessible to persons with disabilities by constructing ramps or other measures in accordance with the said Act of 2016. Vaccination will be available for everyone who is above age 18 from May 1 and a person with the disability will be treated in a prioritized manner for their comfort and need.