Published: 24th September 2022
COVID-19: Allow unvaccinated teacher to join duty, Delhi HC directs
The petitioner was at a higher risk of developing an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine as compared to the general population: AIIMS
COVID-19 has changed the scenario of education around the world. Along with the pandemic came the need to vaccinate to fight against the deadly virus. But what if one cannot vaccinate and, especially, what if a teacher of a private school cannot vaccinate? In this context, the Delhi High Court has directed a private school to allow an unvaccinated teacher to join duty as it was found that he was at a higher risk of having an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, as stated in a report by PTI.
Further, Justice Rekha Palli noted that the teacher shall always wear a mask while on the school premises and observe COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and guidelines. The Delhi government told the court that, considering the medical condition of the petitioner, it has accepted the teacher's request for exempting him from COVID-19 vaccination as a special case.
"The writ petition is disposed of by directing respondent no.4 to forthwith permit the petitioner to join his duties," as directed by the court in its order dated September 22. Moreover, the report was given by a five-member Board constituted by AIIMS, which opined that the petitioner was at a higher risk of developing an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine as compared to the general population.
The petitioner suffered from Angioimmunoblastic T-cell Lymphoma (a type of cancer) and was thus consistently advised by doctors that his condition may deteriorate if he takes the COVID-19 vaccine. However, following the government orders making it mandatory for all teachers to be 100 per cent vaccinated, he was not allowed to discharge his duties.
Moreover, the exemption granted to him by the authorities was unilaterally withdrawn in October 2021, the petitioner said to the court. Further, the court also ordered the school to release the balance salary, after deducting 10 per cent, as well as the allowances payable to the petitioner for the relevant period.