Health officials in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi were left humiliated on Tuesday, January 5, after COVID vaccine boxes were transported on a bicycle from the vaccine storage centre to the District Women's Hospital at Kabir Chaura as part of the dry run of the vaccine.
Chief medical officer Dr VB Singh has demanded a written explanation from the cold chain handler managing the vaccine transportation, Hindustan Times reported.
"A vaccine porter transported the vaccine carrier (boxes) on a bicycle to the District Women Hospital from Urban CHC, Chauka Ghat. As the matter came to light, the porter was asked to go back to the Urban CHC, Chauka Ghat. In this regard, an explanation has been sought from the cold chain handler working at Chauka Ghat based Townhall Vaccine Distribution Center as to why he sent the porter while the vaccine carriers were already kept for the Corona Vaccination to be done in the coming days," he said.
District magistrate Kaushalraj Sharma said that there was no real vaccine in the dry run and that the dry run was done using empty boxes.
"The vaccine storage point is already established at the Women Hospital. During the dry run, the vaccine was not to be sent to the Women Hospital from Chauka Ghat. Therefore, a vehicle was not planned for the same," Sharma said.
"During the actual transportation of vaccines, the cold chain will have to be maintained and all vaccines would be transported in an AC van from storage centres to hospitals," officials claimed.
Dr Singh said the dry run was completed successfully.
After the successful completion of the dry run, Dr Singh said, "Dry run (mock drill) of Covid-19 vaccination at pre-determined six sites, including District Women's Hospital, Kabir Chaura, Urban Community Health Center, Shivpur, Community Health Centre (CHC) Haathi, CHC Misirpur, PHC Pindra and Heritage Hospital in the district was completed successfully. Dry run means the rehearsal of vaccination was done without applying Covid-19 vaccine."
A show-cause notice has been issued to the cold chain handler at Chauka Ghat, the DM said.