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3.5 per cent wastage of Covid vaccines in Jamshedpur

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Jamshedpur, May 28: The wastage of Covid vaccines in the East Singhbhum district is 3.5 percent. It is lower than the national average of 6.3 percent. With vaccines in short supply, more effort is being made curtailing wastage.

In its operational guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination, the Wastage Multiplier Factor has been calculated at 1.11, assuming an allowable programmatic wastage of 10%. This number is factored into how many vials are allocated to States for supply of vaccine to each administrative unit. Wastage in unopened vials can occur due to reasons such as the vaccine reaching its destination after its expiry date; if it has been exposed to temperature outside its normal bounds; suspected contamination and poor vaccine administration practices.

With the exponential increase in vaccine demand expected in the next six months, there will also be challenges in administration and demand for skilled administrators who will be part of the management of logistics. These ancillary support staff too have to be developed by States along with planning for vaccine supply to enable a smooth, speedy rollout.

In view of the vaccine wastage issue cropped up, about 100 computer operators were on Friday given additional training pertaining to data entry for Covid vaccination in the East Singhbhum district.

Known as EAV (Entity Attribute Value) computer operators engaged for carrying out the job of data entry of Covid vaccines had already given training before the vaccination drive started here on February 16, but the additional training was given to them online as a precautionary measure.

The step to provide training afresh to the computer operators was at the level of the East Singhbhum deputy commissioner, Suraj Kumar.  He said that presently there are seven vaccination centers in the district.

Vaccine wastage is an expected component of any large vaccination drive, and a vaccine is procured from the maker with an estimated wastage. For each vaccine type, the wastage has to be within recommended limits.

In general, high vaccine wastage inflates vaccine demand and increases unnecessary vaccine procurement and supply chain costs. Vaccine wastage is directly linked to vaccine usage, which is the proportion of vaccines administered against vaccines issued to a vaccination site. The vaccine wastage rate is defined as 100 minus the vaccine usage rate. And the wastage rate directly determines the “wastage factor” that needs to be established for each vaccine in the immunisation schedule to accurately plan vaccine needs.

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