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Centre flags irregularities in Delhi's COVID-19 vaccination drive
By TOG News service
Apr 06, 2021

TOG NEWS SERVICE, NEW DELHI, APR 06, 2021: THE Health Ministry on Monday wrote to Delhi's Principal Health Secretary drawing attention to irregularities in the identification of COVID-19 vaccination beneficiaries below the age of 45, by some private vaccination centres.

In the letter, it has been pointed out that there have been serious lapses in registration of beneficiaries by the VIMHANS (Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health, Neuro & Allied Sciences) located in the Nehru Nagar area in northeast Delhi.

"VIMHANS has been found to register beneficiaries below the age of 45 years as healthcare workers and frontline workers, and vaccinate them," the government said.

A show cause notice has also been issued to Bensups Hospital in Dwarka for violation of the guidelines issued by the Centre on the eligible groups of population for receiving the COVID-19vaccine. There too, people below the age of 45 were wrongly registered as as healthcare workers and frontline workers.

As per the rules, the ongoing COVID-I9 vaccination drive, citizens above 45 years of age are being vaccinated from April 1, alongside the continued coverage of healthcare and frontline workers.

CoWIN sample data from March 19-April 3 showed VIMHANS' many beneficiaries were outside the ambit of the eligibility criteria.

Noting that vaccines are a precious commodity, the "serious lapses" at VIMHANS in terms of compliance of COVID- 19 vaccination guidelines harm the countrywide vaccination exercise as eligible beneficiaries may get deprived from vaccination, said the Centre.

"The Delhi administration has been asked to immediately issue a show cause notice to VIMHANS regarding such wrong practices which violate COVID-19 vaccination norms, and seek a written explanation from them within the next 48 hours," it added.

It also urged the administration to slap monetary penalties on the hospital and consider de-panellingthem if the explanation to the show cause notice is found unsatisfactory.