Raj Health Minister Slams Harsh Vardhan Over ‘False Claims’ Of Vaccine Wastage

Jaipur:  With reports alleging a higher wastage of corona vaccines in Rajasthan drawing questions from the Centre, a war of words has erupted between state Health Minister Raghu Sharma and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

Sharma on Tuesday responded to the Union Minister’s letter, contending that reports of vaccine wastage were false and that more than 1.7 crore people have been vaccinated in the state.

Rajasthan has been the frontrunner in the vaccination process, he added.

On Monday, Harsh Vardhan wrote a letter to Sharma, demanding an inquiry into the alleged reports of vaccine wastage.

On Monday, the Bharatiya Janata Party had attacked the state government over vaccine wastage and alleged that 2,500 vaccine doses were found in a dustbin. The BJP’s allegations were based on media reports, but Sharma rubbished the reports as incorrect.

Union Jal Shakti Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, also alleged that the Rajasthan government had earlier wasted more than 11 lakh vaccine doses.

Based on these media reports, Harsh Vardhan wrote to Sharma and inquired about the vaccine wastage in the state.

The Rajasthan government, which had earlier ordered Covid death audit in the state after the BJP accused it of fudging the Covid toll data, has also ordered a Covid vaccine audit.

Principal Secretary, Health, Akhil Arora, issued the orders and claimed that vaccine wastage was 2 per cent which was much less than the permissible limit of 10 per cent and less than the national average of 6 per cent.

Arora said all Chief Medical Health officials have been directed to conduct a weekly inspection of vaccination centres.