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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 183-190

Ethical and legal issues concerning COVID 19 vaccinations in persons with mental illness in India

Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences [NIMHANS], Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Satish Suhas
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences [NIMHANS], Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_228_21

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Mental healthcare in India faces severe challenges amid the ongoing pandemic. India runs the largest vaccination drive globally, including booster doses to rapidly vaccinate its population of over a billion. As persons with mental illness are at greater risk of adverse outcomes from COVID 19, they need prioritized access and administration of these vaccines. This manuscript examines the current legislation and identifies how the legal and ethical frameworks can prioritize COVID 19 vaccinations for persons with mental illness in India through a review of the various legislations of India concerning persons with mental illness and judicial judgments concerning the pandemic and vaccination. Subsequently, we discuss ethical and legal challenges associated with vaccination in this vulnerable population and possible solutions. Based on the current review, the authors recommend the guidelines for capacity assessment for vaccination decisions and discuss existing legal frameworks relevant to the vaccination of persons with mental illness.

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