Thousand doses of Covishield vaccine found ‘frozen’ in Assam’s Silchar, probe ordered


SILCHAR: Around 1,000 doses of anti-COVID vaccine ‘Covishield’ were found “frozen” in storage at a government hospital in the Silchar district of Assam. The incident was reported at Silchar Medical College College Hospital (SMCH), one of the premier medical facilities based in the Barak Valley region in Assam.

According to reports, around 100 vials which cumulatively contained 1,000 doses of Covishield, the anti-COVID-19 vaccine developed by Serum Institute of India, were found in a frozen state. 

The frozen vials at SMCH were allegedly stored at sub-zero temperature, the report said. After the incident was reported, the State’s Health Department ordered an investigation into the matter and sent the frozen vaccine doses to a lab to ascertain their efficacy.

It may be noted that both vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin – are required to be stored at a temperature of 2-8 degree celsius. 

The two vaccines have got the required approval from the DGCI recently. Assam reported 23 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the state’s tally to 2,16,887, a bulletin issued by the National Health Mission said.

The new COVID-19 cases were detected out of 17,586 tests with a positivity rate of 0.13 per cent, it said. The number of active cases in the state now is 1,384. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 1,075 as no fresh fatality due to the disease was reported on Tuesday, the bulletin said. Apart from the 1,075 fatalities, 1,347 COVID-19 patients have died for other reasons, it said.

Meanwhile, a total of 2,043 beneficiaries received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on the third day on Tuesday, taking the cumulative total number of beneficiaries receiving the vaccine to 7,585 so far, it added.

Assam has so far conducted 62,98,494 COVID-19 tests including both RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Test. 

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