File photo Photograph:( PTI )
Nearly 10 vaccine vials were issued in the name of Urban Health Center but were actually used to vaccinate people out of turn at the parallel vaccination centre
A group of health workers in India’s northeastern state of Assam is being questioned about running a vaccine centre that is allegedly unauthorised.
The vaccination centre was set up at Silchar civil hospital in Assam without completing and following the required process and the health workers had been charging nearly INR 2,000 for each dose.
In addition to unauthorised establishment and charging more than the set price, the group has also been accused of not recording details of at least 80 people who had been administered the first shot of Covidshield vaccine.
Nearly 10 vaccine vials were issued in the name of Urban Health Center but were actually used to vaccinate people out of turn at the parallel vaccination centre, authorities from the Assam health department said.
This centre was being supervised by health worker Swarnajit Paul and senior nurse Sarbani Roy. When the authorities reached the centre, they found more than 100 used empty syringes and a few empty vials of the Covishield vaccine.
Suspicions were raised when a crowd was spotted in a room in the hospital. Upon investigation, Roy and Paul admitted to the crime of administering vaccines to unregistered locals, but they also claimed to be following an order from senior officials.
"We vaccinated around 50 people on Monday and 30 people today. I received vaccine vials from a health worker but I don’t know his name. I am a single mother and I have to feed my family with this job. I don’t know if this is legal or not," Surbani Roy said.
Swaranjit Paul, however, claimed the vials used were the ones that were to go to waste as per the guidelines of the waste management scheme. "At least 10% of vaccines get wasted during the process of vaccination, we are allowed to vaccinate people from the half-used vials of vaccine. We started this process on Saturday under waste management but later some new vials were used," he said.
Authorities have assured locals that action against those involved will be taken within 24 hours.