25,000 doses of IPV are on the last VVM stage, stated a letter to the health department
Ahmedabad: Injectable Polio Vaccine supplied to the hospitals and health centers in Gujarat have either been found to be expired or are in the last stage of expiry, in this regard a senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, demanded a thorough probe.
The district health establishment of Rajkot in one of the written complaints to the state health department, said, “The IPV or Injectable Polio Vaccine, with the brand name Imovax Palio, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur that we have got on September 16, 2017, is of extremely poor status.”
The letter underlines, “25,000 doses of IPV are on the last VVM stage. There is full possibility that, if we send the vaccines to district and taluka levels, by the time it reaches the actual beneficiaries, it will expire. Because of the expiry and last stage of the vaccine, this is dangerous”.
Vaccine Vial Monitor (VVM) is an indicator having a color code for the validity of the medicine which changes when it is to expire or is towards the expiry stage. The medicine is usable if it is in colorless form. The vaccine must be stored at a temperature between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. When the vaccine is exposed to a higher temperature, it falls under the non-usable category.
A local daily reports that the local health officials of Rajkot further revealed that 18,000 vaccines of batch number M 1358 1, with the written expiry date of May 2018, were received by them when these were in the last expiry stage because temperatures were not being maintained properly when they were dispatched. Health officials of Kutch and Morbi have also made similar complaints.
Indian Express reports that demanding immediate action in the matter, a release from Gohil’s office stated, “Why was the polio vaccine not destroyed even after the district health departments clearly said it was in the last stage and there was the possibility that it may expire by the time it reached beneficiaries? Despite clear communication in writing, why did the BJP government not destroy the stock? In what condition did the polio vaccines reach Gujarat? What was their VVM status? I demand that the drug company Sanofi Pasteur come forward and clarify the status of vaccines they sent to Gujarat. Additionally, the World Health Organisation and UNICEF should institute an inquiry taking serious cognizance of all the written communication that the district health department had with their senior officers.”
He alleged, “In a scary and disgusting decision, even after the warning, the state government said these vaccines could be administered. The BJP government has played dirty with the parents and children who have used this vaccine.”