Even as coronavirus vaccination drives are hamstrung due to vaccine shortages across various states in India, thieves broke into the storeroom of the PPE Centre of the Civil Hospital in Haryana's Jind district and stole as many as 1,710 doses of coronavirus vaccine. These include 1,270 doses of the Covishield vaccine and 440 doses of COVAXIN. The district does not have any vaccines left at the moment.
"1,270 of Covishield and 440 of COVAXIN have been stolen from PPC Centre. Some important files have also been stolen," an official told news agency ANI.
The accused had allegedly decided to steal only vaccines as they left other medicines and cash in the storeroom untouched. Police have registered a case against unidentified people. As per initial investigation, the hospital administration neither had a CCTV surveillance system in place nor had they deployed a guard to prevent vaccination theft.
Haryana ranks second in terms of coronavirus vaccine wastage while Punjab ranks third. As per an RTI reply, Haryana wasted 9.74 per cent of the doses used by states till early April whereas Punjab wasted 8.12 per cent of the doses.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Health Ministry have urged the states in the past to avoid wastage of vaccines. The Health Ministry said earlier this week, "The government of India from its share will allocate vaccines to states and UTs based on the criteria of the extent of infection (number of active COVID cases) and performance (speed of administration). Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in this criteria and will affect the criteria negatively. Based on the criteria above, the state-wise quota would be decided and communicated to the states adequately in advance."
Edited by Mehak Agarwal