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Open Vial Policy

The current COVID vaccines being used do not have an ‘open vial policy’. (Photo: Pixabay)

Open Vial Policy: How govt plans to stop Covid shot wastage

The government has been proactively trying to curb the wastage of Covid-19 vaccines and has been guiding the States and UTs in effectively using the doses in order to fight the pandemic. Prime Minister has also time and again emphasised on ensuring minimum Vaccine Wastage, to ensure that the vaccine reaches the maximum number of people.

Open Vial Policy

The current COVID-19 vaccines being used do not have an ‘open vial policy’ i.e., it has to be used within a stipulated time once the vial has been opened. The Centre has advised vaccinators to mark the date and time of opening of each vial and be used or discarded within 4 hours of opening.

The target of keeping vaccine wastage below 1 per cent is not at all unrealistic, the Union Health Ministry said today. Vaccination drives have to organised in a way that there is minimum wastage and many states have done that, the health ministry said, adding that vaccinators have a significant role to play in it.

“Any reduction in wastage means inoculating more people and leads to strengthening the fight against COVID-19. Each dose saved means vaccinating one more person. India is using the COVID-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network(Co-WIN) with the inbuilteVIN (Electronic Vaccine intelligence network) system, a digital platform, which not only registers the beneficiaries but also tracks the vaccines and facilitates real-time monitoring of storage temperatures across 29,000 cold chain points at the National, State, and District level,” the Ministry said.

The Health Ministry said that all States/ UTs have also been advised that each vaccination session is expected to cater to at least 100 beneficiaries, however, in the case of remote and sparsely populated areas, the state could organise a session for a lesser number of beneficiaries while ensuring that there is no vaccine wastage.

“A regular review of the COVID-19 Vaccination drive across all levels is being conducted to include analysis of vaccine wastage with a focus on identifying areas where such wastage is high so that prompt corrective measures are undertaken. Directions have also been given to the concerned officials and COVID-19 Vaccination Centre (CVC) managers to efficiently plan vaccination sessions so as to keep the vaccine wastage rates at a minimum,” it added.

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