NEW DELHI: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday urged the Rajasthan health minister to probe reports of alleged wastage of Covid vaccine in the state on priority.
India's COVID-19 vaccination drive is being conducted across the country since January 16.
The government of India is working closely with all the states and union territories to make this drive a success and help counter the pandemic effectively, the health ministry said.
In a letter to Raghu Sharma, the Union health minister said a media report has highlighted that more than 500 vials of COVID-19 vaccines were found dumped in the waste bins of 35 Covid vaccination centres in the state which is "not acceptable" and must be investigated.
In almost all districts, vaccine wastage is more than the national average which is less than 1 per cent, Vardhan said as he drew Sharma's attention to some media reports about alleged high vaccine wastage in a few districts of the state.
"Therefore, I would urge you to look into the issue of vaccine wastage on priority especially in the high wastage districts in the state," the minister said, adding that the media report "regarding 500 vials found in waste bins which you would also agree is not acceptable" should also be investigated.
"I would request you to advise all concerned state/districts officials to ensure sufficient planning to optimise vaccine utilisation and reduce avoidable wastage," Vardhan said.
"I am confident that under your guidance, the state shall take all necessary actions to monitor the vaccine usage, including the wastage and ensure smooth implementation of COVID-19 vaccination drive," he added.