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Move to call & inoculate helps cut vaccine wastage in Maha | India News

PUNE: On-the-spot vaccination of registered but unscheduled beneficiaries has drastically cut vaccine wastage in Maharashtra, with officials saying they have been able to completely use the day’s last-opened vials.
Each vaccine vial, containing about 10 doses, needs to be used within four hours of being opened. But vaccinators, during the three days before the walk-in policy was implemented, said doses from the day’s last vials were going waste because of low beneficiary turnout.
Observers said 285 session sites — due to low turnouts — had no choice but to discard doses after administering the first three to five doses from the last vial. They estimate that an average of 1,000 doses was being wasted every day. But that has reduced considerably, ever since site in-charges were allowed to utilise remaining doses by calling colleagues who have registered on CoWIN app. They have been allowed to do so if the day’s beneficiary count is low.
State immunization officer Dileep Patil said, “Wastage was at a minimum even during the first three days of the drives as we had instructed every centre in-charge to open a vaccine vial only if there were 10 beneficiaries present. But after the introduction of on-spot-vaccination, there has been a further drop in wastage.”
Officials were particularly concerned about the day’s last vial.
Sanjay Deshmukh, deputy director of the state health department, said, “Several times, it so happened the vaccinator had to open the vial to finish the inoculation of those who had turned up, before closing the day’s vaccination session. And if there weren’t nine to 10 beneficiaries present, the rest of the doses were discarded. But on-thespot vaccination has significantly reduced wastage of this last-opened vial.”
The state currently accepts a one-dose loss per vial. Mistakes can occur while filling up a syringe. Every site is currently allowed to carry out the vaccination of 100 registered healthcare workers who are randomly selected a day before the session.

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