Waste bins are where most life-saving shots for children land

Wanted: A vaccine to protect immunisation vaccines.

The life-saving drops or shots, which protect children against a host of deadly diseases, are ending up in waste bins in the Capital.

The rate at which these vaccines are being wasted is alarming. The figure is double than the recommended, a study conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) says.

Right jab: The wastage rate of vaccines was found by an AIIMS study

Right jab: The wastage rate of vaccines was found by an AIIMS study

The health and family welfare ministry recommends that not more than 25 per cent of supplied vaccines should be wasted at any point of time.

But take a look at the wastage rates found by the AIIMS study:

  • BCG (prevents tuberculosis): 70.9%
  • OPV (oral polio vaccine): 48.1%
  • DPT (for diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus): 38.6%
  • Measles: 39.9%
  • MMR (for measles, mumps and rubella): 37.5%
  • Tetanus toxoid: 62.8%
  • Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids: 57.3%

The findings were based on vaccine data at an immunisation clinic between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010.

An unopened vaccine vial can be wasted in several ways - by lapsing into expiry, exposure to heat or cold, breakage, contamination and theft. Another form of wastage concerns open vials.

After a child is administered the dose, whatever is left in the vial is thrown away.

'Interestingly, the wastage of vaccine vials because of cold storage failure during transport was found to be negligent or none. This was also true of vials discarded because of expiry, heat or cold exposure, or breakage. Hence, for our analysis, only the number of vials used at the immunisation clinic was considered,'Dr Baridalyne Nongkynrih, the author of the study, said.

He co-wrote it with Dr Palanivel Chinnakali, Dr Vaman Kulkarni and Dr Kalaiselvi S. The study was published in the recent issue of the Journal of Pediatric Sciences.


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