Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan (File Photo)
Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan (File Photo)

Harsh Vardhan writes to Rajasthan health minister over ‘wastage’ of Covid-19 vaccine jabs

In his letter, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan cited reports published in Hindi dailies ‘Dainik Bhaskar’ and ‘Rajasthan Patrika’ over high vaccine wastage in Rajasthan.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Karan Manral, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 31, 2021 09:49 PM IST

Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday wrote to Rajasthan health minister Raghu Sharma over reports of wastage of Covid-19 vaccine doses in the state, urging Sharma to look into the matter.

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"Taking serious cognisance of reports of wastage of Covid-19 vaccine doses in some places in Rajasthan, I've written a letter to state health minister @RaghuSharmaINC and urged him to look into the issue. I've also asked him to make better preparations at the local level to avoid wastage of vaccine doses," a rough translation of Harsh Vardhan's tweet, posted in Hindi, read.

Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Union health minister posted further, "Wastage of even a single dose means failure in protecting an individual from Covid-19." He added in the same tweet that all states and Union territories (UTs) should target zero vaccine wastage.

In his letter, the Union health minister cited stories published in Hindi dailies Dainik Bhaskar and Rajasthan Patrika. "In almost all districts of Rajasthan, vaccine wastage is more than the national average of less than 1%. Further, the Dainik Bhaskar article has also highlighted that more than 500 vials of Covid-19 vaccines were found in the waste bins of 35 Covid-19 vaccination centres in the state," he wrote.

"The high wastage, you would agree, is not acceptable," Harsh Vardhan added in his letter.

Earlier in the day, Sharma, the state health minister, posted a series of tweets in which he called the Dainik Bhaskar report "misleading" and "bereft of facts."

Last Friday, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, too, accused the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to which Harsh Vardhan belongs, of making "deliberate attempts" to mislead the public by claiming 1.15 million vaccine doses have been wasted in Rajasthan.

Also Read | ‘Deliberate attempts being made to mislead public’: Rajasthan CM Gehlot on BJP’s claim of vaccine wastage

The war of words comes at a time when several states have reported a shortage of vaccine doses. In several states, vaccination drives have been put on hold, at least for a section of beneficiaries, due to shortage of jabs.

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