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Hospitals and Kolkata Municipal Corporation swap Covid vaccines to duck expiry dates

The 16,000-odd doses have since been administered from vaccination centres run by the civic body

Sanjay Mandal | Published 02.03.22, 07:22 AM
An official of the civic body said they exchanged about 16,000 doses of the vaccine.

An official of the civic body said they exchanged about 16,000 doses of the vaccine.

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Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has replaced about 16,000 Covid vaccine doses that were lying with private hospitals and were to expire a week later with ones that can be stored for a few more months. 

The 16,000-odd doses have since been administered from vaccination centres run by the civic body. The doses were lying unused as the demand for Covid vaccines at private hospitals has drastically come down.

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A large section of children in the 15-17 age group, who became eligible for vaccination against Covid, is being inoculated in the civic centres where the shots are administered for free.

As many students preferred taking the shot at their schools, the hospitals did not get enough recipients.

The Telegraph had earlier reported that hospitals were worried that the doses in their stocks were approaching the expiration dates.

The hospitals had appealed to the KMC and the state health department to take the doses from them.

An official of the civic body said they exchanged about 16,000 doses of Covishield. The state health department had coordinated the exchange.

The KMC, in turn, gave the hospitals vaccine vials that will expire a few months later.

“The doses we received would have expired on March 8. We got the vials from private hospitals on Saturday.

From Monday, we started allotting the vials to our Covid vaccination centres. By Tuesday, all 16,000-odd doses had been administered,” said an official in the KMC health department. 

There are around 140 Covid vaccination centres in Kolkata run by the KMC.

Several hospitals admitted they had been benefited from the initiative.

The RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences had 2,000 Covishield doses which were to expire on March 7.

“The KMC last Saturday took the vials and in exchange gave us a similar number of doses that will expire in July. It gives us more time to utilise those vaccines,” said R. Venkatesh, regional director, east, Narayana Health, which runs the RN Tagore hospital.

The hospital, he said, was having around 80 recipients of Covid vaccine every day.

“Going by this rate, we’ll be able to use these doses by July with a few camps and in-house vaccination. This initiative helped us, otherwise we would have to discard the doses lying with us,” he said.

Fortis Hospital, too, will be giving away jabs to the KMC.

“We have vaccines expiring in May and June. We have around 400 vials. The KMC has reached out to us seeking our current stocks. We hope they will be replaced,” said Pratyush Srivastava, zonal director, Fortis Hospital, Anandapur.

Last updated on 02.03.22, 07:23 AM
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