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Open covid vaccine vials need to be used/discarded within 4 hours of opening: Govt

Centre issues guidelines to reduce COVID-19 vaccine wastage (REUTERS)Premium
Centre issues guidelines to reduce COVID-19 vaccine wastage (REUTERS)

  • Centre said, the vaccinator is advised to mark date and time of opening each vial and all open vaccine vials need to be used/discarded within 4 hours of opening
  • It added, states and UTs are advised that each vaccination session in expected to cater to at least 100 beneficiaries

"Open covid vaccine vials need to be used/discarded within 4 hours of opening," the Centre on Friday instructed the states and UTs while issuing a series of guidelines to bring down the wastage of COVID-19 vaccines. It further stated, "the expectation that vaccine wastage should be 1% or less is not at all unreasonable".

In a directive released today, the government said," ... Vaccine manufacturing takes a lot of time and the demand for these exceed the supply many times. Thus it is important to monitor and ensure that the precious tools to address the pandemic is should be used optimally and judiciously."

It also stated that vaccine wastage should be reduced which will further help vaccinate more number of people.

Here is what the Centre has asked the state/UTs to follow

  • The current COVID-19 vaccines used do not have a open vial policy, i.e. it has to be used with a stipulated time after opening the vial. The vaccinator is advised to mark date and time of opening each vial and all open vaccine vials need to be used/discarded within 4 hours of opening.
  • Hence, expectation that vaccine wastage should be 1% or less is not at all unreasonable. It is reasonable & achievable.
  • Further, states and UTs are advised that each vaccination session in expected to cater to at least 100 beneficiaries.
  • In case of remote areas, the state is could organise sessions for lesser number of people but has to ensure that vaccine wastage is minimum.

"A regular review of of the COVID vaccination drive across all level is being conducted to include analysis of vaccine wastage with a focus on identifying areas where such wastage is high and a prompt corrective measure is undertaken," the directive states.

Kerala and West Bengal records negative vaccine wastage

Kerala and West Bengal recorded negative wastage of COVID-19 vaccines in May, saving 1.10 lakh and 1.61 lakh doses respectively, while Jharkhand reported maximum wastage of 33.95 per cent, according to government data.

While Kerala reported -6.37 per cent vaccine wastage, West Bengal recorded -5.48 per cent.

Chhattisgarh reported 15.79 per cent vaccine wastage while Madhya Pradesh reported 7.35 per cent.

States like Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra reported 7.08 per cent, 3.95 per cent, 3.91 per cent, 3.78 and 3.63 per cent and 3.59 per cent respectively.

(With inputs from agencies)

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