Punjab health dept says reports of vaccine wastage misleading, admits 'normal waste' of 38,000 doses

Published July 1, 2021
Senior health official of Punjab says that all cold storages in the province has "excellent arrangements" to store vaccines as per international standards. — Reuters/File
Senior health official of Punjab says that all cold storages in the province has "excellent arrangements" to store vaccines as per international standards. — Reuters/File

The Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SH) Punjab on Thursday rejected media reports claiming wastage of more than 38,000 Covid-19 vaccines “due to non-provision of the optimum ‘temperature at storage”.

In a statement, Secretary P&SH Sarah Aslam said the numbers of doses being wasted during the vaccination process were being misreported by certain sections of the media.

The secretary maintained that the wastage of coronavirus vaccines had been 0.37 per cent of the total supply, which she said was a “normal waste”.

She clarified that numbers of vaccines wastage being reported were actually the total figure from the last five months of routine wastage, whose data was also shared with the National Command and Operation Control (NCOC) on a daily basis.

She informed that so far 8.626 million Covid-19 vaccines had been administered in the province, and its total wastage was 38,357.

She highlighted that all cold storages in Punjab had "excellent arrangements" to store vaccines as per international standards, adding that vaccine temperature was routinely checked under the standard operating procedures.

She appealed people not to fall for false reports regarding wastage of vaccines.

“The Covid-19 vaccines are properly stored in our facilities and the same are administered to hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Sindh health department reported wastage of 19,022 doses out of the total 3.54 million vaccines utilised so far.

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