The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the secretary, ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW), to take appropriate action and submit an Action Taken Report (ATR) for prioritising vaccination of lactating mothers in India.
Seeking the urgent intervention of the NHRC, Tapish Saraswat, a student of Law College, Rajasthan University, filed a complaint regarding the violation of the human rights of lactating mothers in India.
In his complaint, he prayed for the vaccination of lactating mothers on a priority basis and to include them in the guidelines which were issued on May 27, 2021 by the Ministry of Health and to make it available near to home COVID Vaccination Centres.
"Now, the government has recommended that all lactating mothers can get vaccinated. About 67,000 babies are born every day in India, approximately 2.7 crore pregnancies in a year are recorded in our country, putting them directly at risk of getting infected. So there is an urgent need for vaccination of lactating mothers on a priority basis and to include them in the guidelines which were issued on May 27, 2021 by the Ministry of Health regarding Near to Home COVID Vaccination Centres. Slow vaccination of lactating mothers not only endangers their lives but could also lead to their babies having to suffer the consequences," he said in his complaint.
The NHRC in its order stated "This complaint be transmitted to the concerned authority for such action as deemed appropriate. The authority concerned is directed to take appropriate action within eight weeks associating the complainant/victim and to inform him/her of the action taken in the matter."