Centre writes to Delhi Government over irregularities reported in Covid-19 vaccination

The Union Health Ministry has written to Principal Secretary (Health), GNCTD to draw attention to irregularities in the identification of COVID vaccination beneficiaries, below the age of 45 years of age, by some private COVID Vaccination Centers (CVCs).

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The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from COVID-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level. The Union Health Ministry has written to Principal Secretary (Health), GNCTD to draw attention to irregularities in the identification of COVID vaccination beneficiaries, below the age of 45 years of age, by some private COVID Vaccination Centers (CVCs).

In the letter to the Principal Secretary (Health), Government of Delhi has pointed out that there have been serious lapses in registration of beneficiaries by the VIMHANS (Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health, Neuro & Allied Sciences) located at Nehru Nagar area in the North East District of Delhi, operating as a private COVID Vaccination Centre. VIMHANS has been found to register beneficiaries below the age of 45 years as Health Care Workers and Front Line Workers to vaccinate them.

As per provisions of the ongoing COVID-I9 vaccination drive, citizens above 45 years of age from 1st April, 2021 are being vaccinated along with Health Care Workers (HCWs) and Front Line Workers (FLWs) above 18 years of age as per the recommendations of NEGVAC. CoWIN sample data 19th March to 3rd April, 2021 of vaccinated beneficiaries from this Private CVC verified by the Health Ministry, revealed that many beneficiaries lie outside the ambit of the eligible beneficiaries, in violation of the guidelines laid down by the Union Health Ministry.

Noting that vaccines are a precious commodity, these serious lapses at the VIMHANS CVC in terms of compliance of COVID- 19 vaccination guidelines harm the countrywide vaccination exercise as eligible beneficiaries may get deprived from vaccination. The Delhi administration has been asked to immediately issue a show cause notice to VIMHANS  regarding such wrong practices which violate COVID-19 vaccination norms, and seek a written explanation from them within the next 48 hours. Appropriate monetary fine may also be imposed on the hospital. Further, it has been suggested that deplanement of the Hospital may be considered if the explanation to the show cause notice is found unsatisfactory.

In another case, the Delhi Government, in pursuance of the advice from the Union Health Ministry, has issued a show-cause notice to Bensups Hospital, Delhi for violation of the guidelines issued by the Centre on the eligible groups of population for receiving COVID vaccination, where persons below the age of 45 years have been wrongly registered as Health Care Workers and Front Line Workers.