Vaccinating kids with one syringe: MP officer suspended, ‘nurse’ arrested

A criminal case has been registered against the vaccinator, who is said to be a nursing student engaged by the health department to vaccinate the children.
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

BHOPAL: The district immunisation officer of Sagar in Madhya Pradesh has been suspended for dereliction of duty after over three dozen students were administered the Covid vaccine with a single syringe at a school on Wednesday.

A criminal case has been registered against the vaccinator Jitendra Ahirwar, who is said to be a nursing student engaged by the health department to vaccinate the children. He was arrested later.

Sagar Divisional Commissioner Mukesh Shukla ordered the suspension of Dr Shobharam Roshan. The vaccinator, Jitendra Ahirwar, has been booked at the Gopalganj police station.

As per sources, Ahirwar is a student of a college that is possibly part of a Sagar-based private university, whose name had recently cropped up over alleged interstate fake marksheet /degree racket busted by Hyderabad Police.

It remains to be seen what action is taken against other health department staffers, who had deputed Ahirwar for vaccinating the students of Jain Public Higher Secondary School, and the school management, which failed to take notice of the negligent act.

Sagar district chief medical and health officer Dr DK Goswami said the district immunisation officer had been using private individuals in the mega vaccination campaign.

“More heads may roll as accountability is fixed,” Goswami said.

Meanwhile, the blood reports of 19 of the vaccinated children haven’t shown any infection. Reports of others are awaited.

However, in a viral video, the vaccinator alleged his head of the department (HoD), who had dropped him at the school in a car, asked him to inoculate everyone present at the centre with one syringe that was provided to him.

“There is no fault of mine,” he claimed in the video.

When CMHO Dr Goswami was asked about the allegations of Ahirwar, he said it was a matter of investigation and maintained the district vaccination officer, who was held responsible for the incident, has already been suspended.

In a related development, cops arrested Ahirwar from Sagar city on Thursday evening and sent him to jail, said Kamal Singh Thakur, in-charge of the Gopalganj police station, where the FIR was filed.

The 39 children, aged 15 and above, were from Classes 9 to 12, a health official said.

The parents of some of the students on Wednesday observed the vaccinator was using the same syringe to inoculate the children and raised an alarm for gross negligence on his part, the officials said.

After the parents protested, Sagar's in-charge Collector Kshitij Singhal sent the CMHO to inquire.

Those present at the spot told Goswami that the vaccinator allegedly used the same syringe to administer vaccine doses to as many as 39 children, the district official said.

After the protest by parents, Ahirwar escaped from the spot and was not found when the CMHO inspected the school.

The accused had also switched off his mobile phone, Goswami said.

Taking serious cognisance of the incident, Sagar divisional commissioner Mukesh Shukla on Thursday suspended district vaccination officer Dr Shobharam Roshan on the basis of the CMHO's report, another official said.

The suspension order was issued by the divisional commissioner, who directed the collector to appoint another official in place of Dr Roshan, he said.

An official from the Gopalganj police station said they have registered an FIR against Ahirwar under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 336 (rash or negligent act endangering human life or personal safety of others).

On the basis of a report of the CMHO, the collector recommended to the divisional commissioner a departmental probe and appropriate action against district vaccination officer Dr Roshan, Singhal said.

(With PTI Inputs)

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