Policy

Discard each opened vaccine vial within 4 hours: Centre to vaccinators

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 11, 2021

A file photo of a Covid-19 vaccination in progress at Urban Health Centre in Ambli, Ahmedabad.   -  The Hindu

Says keeping vaccine wastage below 1 per cent is achievable.

The Centre has advised vaccinators to mark the date and time of opening of each vial and be used or discarded within 4 hours of opening. It further urged all States/ UTs to cater to at least 100 beneficiaries in one vaccination session, with an exception to remote and sparsely populated areas, where a session for a lesser number of beneficiaries could be organised. A session may be planned only when adequate beneficiaries are available, it said in a release on Friday.

“The current Covid-19 vaccines being used do not have an ‘open vial policy’ i.e., it has to be used within a stipulated time once the vial has been opened. The vaccinator is advised to mark the date and time of opening each vial and all open vaccine vials need to be used/discarded within 4 hours of opening,” the Health Ministry said.

Meanwhile, the Centre also said that keeping vaccine wastage below 1 per cent is reasonable, desirable, and achievable as several states have organised Covid-19 vaccination so that there is no wastage, but they can extract more doses from the vial and thus show a negative wastage. Hence,the expectation that vaccine wastage should be 1 per cent or less is not at all unreasonable.

The government further said that the Co-WIN platform used to register for vaccination has the inbuilt eVIN (Electronic Vaccine intelligence network) system, which also tracks the vaccines and facilitates real-time monitoring of storage temperatures across 29,000 cold chain points at the National, State, and District level.

Besides this, the government also informed that Vaccine Hesitancy is a globally accepted phenomenon and should be addressed by scientifically studying and addressing the community level. It is working closely with all the States/ UTs in addressing Vaccine Hesitancy regularly, and at the beginning of the vaccination drive, it had shared a ‘Covid-19 Vaccine Communication Strategy’ covering details on Vaccine Hesitancy with all the States/ UTs.

Published on June 11, 2021

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