Over 62 lakh COVID-19 Vaccines Wasted In Private Centres Across India

The private centres purchased close to 4.73 crore vaccines (Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik) from the manufacturers directly.

Over 62 lakh vaccines have been wasted in private centres across the country, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare disclosed in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha

Private centres purchased close to 4.73 crore doses of the three COVID vaccines available in India.

The ministry was responding to a question posed by Dushyant Singh an MP from Baran, Rajasthan.

Private clinics in Maharashtra ordered 1.5 crore doses and reported wastage of 65,663 doses only. In comparison, private hospitals in Uttar Pradesh purchased 13 lakh doses and wasted close to 12.60 lakh doses. Madhya Pradesh reported a wastage of 16.47 lakh doses, the highest across the country.

About 10.72 lakh doses of the Sputnik vaccine were bought by private players.

Private health players can procure 25 per cent of the doses produced in the country. Individuals willing to get vaccinated at private centers have to pay ₹780, ₹1,410 and ₹1,145 to get Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik respectively.

What is Vaccine Wastage?

Vaccine wastage can occur for opened as well as unopened vials.

For unopened vials, a vial is counted as wasted if it expires, it is exposed to heat, or if it is frozen. If the seal is broken or a vaccine goes missing, it is also considered to be wasted.

According to government data over 2,410 vaccines have reached expiry date in the public centres

After opening, if there are some doses remaining while discarding the vial, the vaccinator is not able to draw the number of doses prescribed for a vial, if the vials are submerged in water, there is suspected contamination or poor vaccine administration practices, the vaccine is considered to be wasted.

Wastage in Private Centres Across India

Private hospitals have purchased 4.73 crore doses so far with Maharashtra having ordered 1.5 crore of those.

While the private hospitals have purchased 10.72 lakh doses of the Russian vaccines, they have purchased 3.94 crore doses of Covishield and 68.5 lakh doses of Covaxin.

From the doses purchased, there is no data on how many doses of Sputnik were wasted.

Over 36.02 lakh doses of Covishield and 26.56 lakh doses of Covaxin have been reported as wasted.

States like Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and West Bengal did not report wasting of Covishield. Odisha reported that none of the 8,620 doses of Covaxin were wasted.

This is the wastage only for private centres in the country. Vaccination by private centres accounts for only 4 per cent of the total vaccination in the country. The country has administered over 136 crore vaccine doses.

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