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Mumbai mayor finds vaccines in fridge at hotel

Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar, during a surprise inspection at an Andheri hotel on Sunday morning, found that the establishment had administered Covaxin to hundreds of people
By Aroosa Ahmed
UPDATED ON MAY 31, 2021 12:06 AM IST

Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar, during a surprise inspection at an Andheri hotel on Sunday morning, found that the establishment had administered Covaxin to hundreds of people.

The mayor also found vaccines, vial trays and vaccine-related information documents from the hotel’s fridge. Pednekar has called for an inquiry and stated that the guilty will be charged under the Epidemic Diseases Act.

“I received images of the hotel offering the vaccine. So I immediately rushed to the hotel for inspection at 8am. There were vaccine bottles and vial trays stored inside a normal fridge and not in the specified cold storage facility. Coronavirus vaccines have to be stored in cold storages and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) ensures that all vaccines are stored properly. A proper standard operating procedure (SOP) needs to be followed, otherwise it could endanger the lives of beneficiaries,” said the mayor.

The mayor said that the vaccines were procured from a hospital, with which the hotel had a tie-up. The hospital had procured Covaxin from the Centre. She said people were vaccinated in batches of 100 each in the past few days.

“The hotel management stated that the vaccines were being administered from May 23 but have been stopped currently. However, I asked BMC officials to check how the vaccines were stored earlier and if at all they were stored in proper cold storage,” added Pednekar.

The mayor said that the hotel is not to be blamed entirely as it was administering vaccines to people without families and were keeping them under observation of doctors to check for reaction.

She said that BMC has been asked to check the details with the hospital too. According to the mayor, the hotel had tied-up with another hospital which too was providing it vaccines.

“As per the Centre’s direction, private hospitals administering vaccines in partnership with hotels is in violation of the guidelines,” the mayor added.

The Central government on Saturday asked the state governments to initiate legal or administrative action against institutions offering coronavirus vaccine packages.

The Central government in a letter stated that it had come to the notice of the Union health ministry that some private hospitals were providing packages for vaccination in collaboration with some hotels, which was against the guidelines issued for the National Covid-19 vaccination programme.

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