As many as 1,000 COVID vaccine doses were found frozen in the vaccine store of the Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH) in Assam. Meanwhile, a probe has been ordered to analyse the reason for the 100 vials of Covishield, containing 1000 doses, being frozen.
As per the guidelines of the Pune-based Serum Institute of India, producer of Covishield in the country, the vaccine needs to be kept at a temperature between 2-8 degrees celsius. Under Assam's cold chain system, the vaccines are being transported and kept stored in Ice-Lined Refrigerators (ILRs) as specified by the Universal Immunisation Programme for transporting and storing any vaccines.
The health department has issued show-cause notice against in-charge Dr. PK Roy.
"Special department was assigned this task. No other such incident has taken place in the state but what happened in Silchar is being probed, and also how 1,000 doses were sent to a centre," a National Health Mission official said.
Assam got both Covishield and Covaxin. Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech is manufacturer of India's first indigenous vaccine Covaxin while Covishield was developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India.