LNP – Epidemiology Unit specialists responsible for wasting COVISHIELD vaccines in Wathupitiwala hospital: GMOA

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) today urged the Health Ministry to take legal action against the Epidemiology Unit’s specialist doctors for their involvement in creating false COVID vaccination guidelines and for the waste of 25,000 to 30,000 vaccine vials.

GMOA Secretary Dr. Senal Fernando said the case was raised after having found Covid vaccine vials with the remaining two or three doses from a washroom at the Wathupitiwala Hospital yesterday.

“The initial COVISHIELD vaccination guideline was issued to all MOH officers and to all hospitals by the specialists from the Epidemiology Unit,” he said.

Each vial contains ten doses, Dr. Fernando said.

However, the Epidemiology Unit has issued a guideline mentioning that ‘If a small volume of vaccine remains after the final dose, it should not be used for another person’. While the vaccination drive continues, doctors and MOH officials have stated that the Epidemiology Unit guideline was incorrect, and the vaccine is still dosed and unused.

After implementing the guidelines, about 25,000 to 30,000 vaccine vials were wasted in the first phase of the programme, Dr. Fernando said.

Later, the Epidemiology Unit revised the first guidelines and issued their second ones, which stated, “After withdrawing the tenth dose of the vaccine vial using the AD, if the volume is of an additional 0.5 ml, it is advised to use the eleventh dose from the vaccine vial.”

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