The Centre has written to states and Union Territories, urging them not to release data from the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) system on vaccine stockpiles and storage temperature in public forums. It has said that since it is "sensitive information", it should only be utilised for programme enhancement.
States are required to keep the Centre updated on all vaccine stock and transactions, including those covered by the Universal Immunization Program and those managed through the electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network, a vaccine management system developed in India with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme.
Following its implementation in 2012-13, the eVIN system is now utilised to track vaccine stock status and temperature at all levels of vaccine storage, from national to sub-district, reported The New Indian Express.
"The data on COVID-19 vaccine stocks, consumption and balance as reflected on CoWIN platform and is being regularly shared in a transparent manner by the Union Health Ministry with the media and public through weekly press conferences and daily press releases. The Health Ministry's letter to the States and UTs in focus was intended to prevent use of such sensitive data for unauthorised commercial purposes," the letter from health ministry stated.
The letter further stated that the ministry owns the data and analytics generated by eVIN for inventory and temperature, and that it should not be shared with any other organisation, partner, or media agency, or online or offline public forums without its prior consent.
The statement has been released at a time when the country is facing a health crisis, and questions regarding vaccine availability are being raised. States are grappling with a shortage. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a centralised vaccine policy under which states will not pay for them.