Tamil Nadu

Vaccine wastage across Tamil Nadu brought down to 5%

Optimum utilisation: The State government is taking steps to further cut down the wastage of vaccines to 3% from 5% until April 20   | Photo Credit: RAGU R

COVID-19 vaccine wastage across Tamil Nadu was reduced to 5% between April 1 and April 20, and steps are being taken to cut it further to 3%, the State government said on Thursday.

In a statement after meetings with senior officials and Collectors, Chief Secretary Rajeev Ranjan said that with the Centre allowing vaccination of those aged above 18 from May 1, wastage would be avoided totally.

Reasons cited

As for the reasons for the wastage, he said 20 persons would be administered vaccine from one vial of Covaxin and 10 persons from one vial of Covishield. “In the beginning, when the general mood was to avoid vaccines and five to six persons showed up at vaccination centres in the evenings just before the drive was to end for the day, shots were administered with the high objective not to disappoint those who came for vaccination,” he said. Hence, doses that would have been given to four or five persons went waste. Moreover, a vial had to be used up within four hours. The national vaccination programme allows wastage of up to 10%. “Due to the above reasons, wastage was reported between January 16 and March 31,” the statement said.

A senior official told The Hindu: “During the meetings, the government instructed officials to focus on contact-tracing, intensify vaccination in hotspot districts and monitor health infrastructure...”

As for the allegation that the RT-PCR test kits were being imported at higher rates from Brazil, the government said they were being imported “at the lowest cost in the country” from South Korea and the United States.

At present, of the 54,417 beds available at COVID-19 hospitals, 32,942 are fitted with oxygen supply. Steps are being taken to increase the number of ventilators and high-flow nasal cannulas.

Oxygen storage has been increased from 395 metric tonnes last year to 888 metrics tonnes this year. “A total of 1,167 metric tonnes of oxygen storage is at government and private hospitals,” the statement said.

Stocks in reserve

Medicines such as Tocilizumab inj 400 mg, Remdesivir inj 100 mg and Enoxaparin inj 40 mg were being supplied to all taluk hospitals across the State, Mr. Ranjan said. “Tamil Nadu is the only State where Remdesivir is available at all government hospitals in all districts,” he said. Stocks required for 20 days are in reserve and orders have been placed for 2 lakh vials. “Based on need, this [Remdesivir] is being given to private hospitals too.”

In the first phase, ₹61 crore was sanctioned for opening COVID-19 Care Centres in all districts. A total of 5,43,518 violations of the Public Health Act, 1939, were reported and fine of ₹11.5 crore was imposed.

Adviser to the government and former Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam, Director-General of Police J.K. Tripathy and senior officials were present.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 10:19:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/vaccine-wastage-across-tamil-nadu-brought-down-to-5/article34388771.ece

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