Updated: April 23, 2021 12:02:44 pm
In the last 93 days, since the Covid-19 vaccination process started on January 16, the health department of Pimpri-Chinchwad has succeeded in administering jabs to 3,03,794 citizens. At the same time, as many as 33,900 doses have gone to waste. The PCMC administration said efforts are underway to curb wastage of the vaccines.
“All efforts are being made to reduce wastage of the vaccines being administered to the citizens,” PCMC spokesperson Shirish Poredi told The Indian Express on Friday.
Dr Varsha Dange, who handles PCMC’s vaccination programme, said, “The national average of wastage of vaccines is 6.5 per cent. PCMC wastage is much less at 4 per cent. Every day, we vaccinate at least 8,000 people at our vaccination centres.”
Earlier this month, PCMC had to briefly close all its vaccination centres after it ran out of the stock.
PCMC is administering Covisheld and Covaxin doses at 87 of its centres. PCMC has so far received 3,31,100 Covishield vaccine doses and 38,400 Covaxin doses from the central government.
“Of these, 31,300 doses of Covishield and 2,600 of Covaxin have gone to waste,” said the PCMC health department.
Explaining the reason behind the wastage, Dr Sunil John, who heads the Chinchwad vaccination centre located at Talera hospital, said, “One vial of the vaccine contains 10 doses. If around 4.30 pm or 5 pm which is the closing time for vaccination, there are only three citizens present, we have to use only three doses and the rest of the seven doses go waste. This is because the doses have to be used within four hours of the opening of the vial.”
However, activist Domnic Lobo said, “Instead of wasting the vaccines, the PCMC can shift the three citizens who turn up in the end to a nearby vaccination centre where three-four citizens are present. This will help reduce the wastage. But this requires effort and initiative.”
Another activist Iklas Sayyed said, “If there are say only three citizens present in the end, officials at the vaccination centres should walk around… if there are citizens who haven’t been vaccinated moving around, they should be persuaded to take the jab. Alternatively, the PCMC should appoint volunteers who will ferry people to the centres. It is all about preventing wastage. And for this, some brain-wracking is required.”
Poredi said, “PCMC is making efforts to reduce the wastage. We are thinking of ways to reduce it.”
PCMC had started vaccinations on January 16. First, health workers were vaccinated, then frontline workers, followed by those above the age of 45 years and having co-morbidities. Currently, those above 45 years of age are being vaccinated. From May 1, those above 18 years of age will be vaccinated.
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