Silchar (Assam) , Jan 21 : The Assam government have ordered an investigation to find out how 1,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine got frozen and wasted due to their storage in sub-zero temperature violating norms at Silchar Medical College and Hospital in Assam”s Cachar district.
The ongoing inoculation drive will not be affected by this wastage, which came to light on Tuesday, as the district has adequate stock of the vaccine, Cachar Deputy Commissioner Keerti Jalli said.
She said that 100 vials of Covishield vaccine were spoiled mainly due to lapses in the storage facility and cold store management.
“We have, however, initiated an inquiry into the incident to ascertain the exact reason behind the lapses,” Jalli said. The vaccination drive will not be hampered due to this as “we are prepared with enough stock and error margin was also taken into account during the allocation of doses for the district,” she added.
National Health Mission Director in Assam, Dr S Lakshmanan, said that show-cause notices have been issued to those responsible for storing and supplying the vaccine. The priority now is to ensure scientific disposal of the wasted doses, he added. A senior doctor of Silchar Medical College and Hospital said that the vaccines were supposed to be stored at a temperature of 2-8 degree Celsius.
However, it was found that the vials were kept in sub-zero temperature and they got frozen and wasted.
Usually, an alert message is received if the temperature in Ice Lined Refrigerators in which the vaccines are stored rises or falls, but no such message was received when those vials were damaged, the doctor said.
It appears that there was some problem in the messaging system, he said.
In Cachar district, 11,710 healthcare workers are scheduled to be vaccinated in the first phase and there are two session sites in the district – Silchar Medical College Hospital and S M Dev Civil Hospital.
(With PTI inputs)