According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the eVIN system is part of the COVID-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN).
“Any reduction in wastage means inoculating more people and leads to strengthening the fight against COVID-19. Each dose saved means vaccinating one more person. India is using the COVID-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) with the inbuilt eVIN (Electronic Vaccine intelligence network) system, a digital platform, which not only registers the beneficiaries but also tracks the vaccines and facilitates real-time monitoring of storage temperatures across 29,000 cold chain points at the national, state and district level,” the ministry said.
“Vaccination against COVID-19 is important in protecting the people from infection and associated mortality and morbidity. Equitable access to safe and effective vaccines is critical in ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccine development takes a lot of time and demand for these vaccines exceeds the supply many times. Thus, it is important to monitor and ensure that this precious tool to address the pandemic should be used optimally and judiciously,” the statement added.
COVID-19 vaccine is an essential public health commodity with global scarcity. Therefore, vaccine wastage must be reduced and kept to a minimum level which will further help vaccinate many people.
“The current COVID-19 vaccines being used do not have an ‘open vial policy’, that is, it has to be used within a stipulated time once the vial has been opened. The vaccinator is advised to mark the date and time of opening each vial and all open vaccine vials need to be used/discarded within 4 hours of opening,” it said.
The ministry pointed out that several states have organised COVID-19 vaccination in such a way, that not only there is no wastage but they are able to extract more doses from the vial and thus show a negative wastage.
“Hence, the expectation that vaccine wastage should be 1 per cent or less is not at all unreasonable. It is reasonable, desirable and achievable,” it stated.
Further, all states/ UTs have also been advised that each vaccination session is expected to cater to atleast 100 beneficiaries, however, in the case of remote and sparsely populated areas, the state could organise a session for a lesser number of beneficiaries while ensuring that there is no vaccine wastage. A session may be planned only when adequate beneficiaries are available.