The Assam Government is now probing how 1,000 doses of the Covid19 vaccine Covishield were found "frozen" at the vaccine store of the Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH). According to reports, Cachar Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli and State National Health Mission Director Lakshmanan S. have separately ordered probes to identify the exact reason for this glaring discrepancy.
Health officials in Guwahati, however, are not labelling the 100 vials or the 1,000 doses a "waste" yet as they would get them tested in a laboratory to test the efficacy of the vaccine. According to SMCH officials, the development was noticed on Saturday, the first day of the nationwide vaccination drive.
According to the guidelines of the Pune based Serum Institute of India, producer of Covishield in India, the vaccine needs to be kept at a temperature between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius.According to the guidelines of the Pune based Serum Institute of India (producer of Covishield in India), the vaccine needs to be kept at a temperature between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. Under Assam's cold chain system, the vaccines are being transported and stored in Ice-Lined Refrigerators (ILRs) as specified by the Universal Immunisation Programme for transporting and storing vaccines.
A probe is now on, to identify where the shortcoming and lapses had taken place. There are chances that this had happened while the vaccines were being carried to the hospital or during storage," an official said on condition of anonymity. He also said that the ILR automatic monitoring system was not functioning properly.
Assam has acquired both Covishield and Covaxin. Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech is the manufacturer of India's first indigenous vaccine Covaxin while Covishield was developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Pune based Serum Institute of India.