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What is vaccine wastage, and how can it be prevented?

opics Covered: Issues related to health.

What is vaccine wastage, and how can it be prevented?

Context:

The Health Ministry has told the States and the Union Territories that there was no value in conserving vaccines for the second dose and directed that prompt supply should be ensured to all government and private hospitals where there was a demand.

Guidelines by the Centre to States:

  1. Maintain vaccine wastage at less than 1% (present national wastage percentage being 6%).

Regularly review wastage across all levels to minimise the same.

  • Ensure timely utilisation of available stocks to avoid expiry of vaccines without usage.
  • Only eligible beneficiaries should be registered and vaccinated under the category of healthcare and frontline workers.

What is Vaccine Wastage?

Vaccine wastage is an expected component of any large vaccination drive. But high vaccine wastage inflates vaccine demand and increases unnecessary procurement.

Different stages where wastage occurs:

  1. Cold chain points.
  2. District vaccine stores.
  3. Vaccination session site.

Ways to prevent wastage:

  • Proper planning.
  • Each vaccine session should serve maximum 100 beneficiaries.
  • Proper training to vaccinators.

Sources: the Hindu.