Almost 5,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines have been wasted in five states, since the drive began on January 16, with Tripura topping the list at 11%.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, the wastage have largely been due to vaccinators not finding enough recipients after opening vials, which need to be used up within four hours.
Authorities addressed the problem of wastage to some degree by allowing vaccinators to call in people who were not scheduled to get doses on a particular day, helping increase turnout to compensate for hesitancy. But, since January 16, only about 55 people have turned up for every 100 selected and invited for a dose during every session.
On Thursday, this number was – on an average – 49 out of every 100 in the close 500,000 vaccinations that took place.
In Punjab, this number was 1,200 doses, as per the state’s nodal officer for Covid-19, Dr Rajesh Bhaskar.
Health officials in Bihar too said the wastage was with within the 10% limit till now. However, wastage of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin was more because of its larger vial size as compared to Serum Institute’s Covishield, an official said.
In the Patna’s Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH), where the wastage was as high as 25% last week, fewer doses are now being lost. Covshield was being administered at 295 of the total 301 session sites in Bihar.
Uttarakhand’s immunization officer, said 4.1% doses of close to 14,500 got wasted.
Of the 194,048 vaccines given till January 28, Odisha lost 0.58% — or 1,125 doses, the report said.
Health officials in Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Chhattisgarh said there was no wastage.