Indian expat from KSA moves HC to get re-vaccinated with Covishield

The man, a native of Kerala's Kannur, moved the court because Covaxin is not recognized in Saudi Arabia.

Kochi: A 50-year-old Indian expatriate working in Saudi Arabia on August 5 has filed a petition in the Kerala High Court seeking permission to re-vaccinate with Covishield after complete vaccination with Covaxin.

Girikumar Thekkan Kunnumpurath of Sreekandapuram in Kannur, moved the court because Covaxin is not recognized in Saudi Arabia. As per the terms of the visa, he has to return to Saudi Arabia before August 30 or he will lose his job.

“I have two girls, one pursuing degree and the other in Class X. I have no other source of income to meet their educational expenses,” Girikumar said.

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He added that even if he manages to enter the country through connecting countries, he will still have to undergo mandatory quarantine and subject himself to another set of vaccines approved in Saudi Arabia, the entire process of which will cost him approximately three lakhs.

According to the petition, he returned to India due to the second wave of COVID in January and when the government provided vaccinations to people over 45 years old, he registered on CoWin portal using his passport details.

“He got his dose of Covaxin on April 17th and the second one a month later. Only after receiving Covaxin did he know that it was not approved by the Saudi government. Had the authorities informed the public of not recognizing Covaxin earlier, he would not have taken it. He did not know that his decision would be shown His job abroad is at risk,” the petition read.

However, getting a third dose is not possible at the moment as there is no option on the CoWIN website to reserve a spot for it.

Manas P Hameed, Girikumar’s counsel said, the court considered the central government’s opinion on this matter and adjourned the case to August 9.

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