The medical superintendent (MS) of the Mozang Teaching Hospital in Lahore has been suspended after 350 coronavirus vaccine doses stored there were spoiled, a senior health official told Dawn.com on Thursday.
According to a notification of the Punjab Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department dated March 29, the MS, Dr Munir Ahmad Ghouri, was "placed under suspension, under Section 6 of PEEDA Act, 2006, on accounts of inefficiency and misconduct, with immediate effect".
A senior official of the provincial health department said that the medical superintendent was suspended after 350 coronavirus vaccine doses, stored in the refrigerator at his office were spoiled.
"He stored the doses in the refrigerator in his office and then went on leave," the official added.
Meanwhile, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said the MS was suspended for "extreme inefficiency" and an inquiry committee was formed.
"It will be clear in the [committee's] report where the vaccine doses 'disappeared'. Strict action will be taken after the identification of those responsible," she said.
Total vaccine doses
A day earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said that 0.5 million purchased doses of China's Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine had been received with an additional 0.5m doses scheduled to arrive today (Thursday). Pakistan would have possession of one million purchased vaccine doses in total with these two consignments, said SAPM Sultan, adding that millions of doses of purchased Covid-19 vaccine would continue to come in the following weeks and months.
"In the coming months in April, May and June, orders for millions of doses are being finalised and they will keep coming. Then our vaccination process will keep moving forward."
The first batch of vaccines, brought to Pakistan via a Pakistan Air Force aircraft on February 1, had contained 0.5m doses of Sinopharm vaccine gifted by China.
China donated another consignment of 0.5m doses on March 17.
That was also when the first consignment of the privately imported Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine arrived in Karachi. The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan in January 2021 had given a go-ahead to a local pharmaceutical firm, AGP, to import and distribute the Russian-developed Sputnik V.