Failed Vaccine Management now being blackmarketed
A 10-dose vial of Covishield is being sold at about Rs 20,000 and Covaxin at nearly Rs 25,000. These vials are being brought from Visakhapatnam in cool packs and are being sold to those who want to administer it. After receiving the vial, it is being secured in a household refrigerator. The one who manages to get a vial of the vaccine, mobilises 10 persons to share the dose of 0.5 ml each and also its total cost. They engage a private health worker to administer the jab for all of the 10 persons at a common place and pay for the service and for disposable needles and syringes.
Some people in Rajamahendravaram in East Godavari district recently got Covishield vaccine from Visakhapatnam through some middlemen and took the jab. The cost of the jab varies from time to time given the risk involved in bringing it to the black market. However, the cost of Covishield is relatively less in black market when compared to Covaxin, as it is available aplenty. The Andhra Pradesh government is getting good quantities of the vaccine on a regular basis. The middlemen are ready to get even Covaxin vials but for a good price.
So is the case in several districts where the vaccine is getting diverted to black market.
The modus operandi of the middlemen is to lure health workers with a good offer for getting vials of vaccine. Health workers draw more vials at Covid vaccination centre claiming that more people are waiting for the jab. As per the rule, the vial should be discarded after breaking its seal within four hours irrespective of the number of doses administered, but the health workers set aside some full dose vials and use the existing ones to administer the jab.
With no complete vigil on usage of vials, the entries in the registers get manipulated and the required number of vials reach the middlemen for a good price. The middlemen in turn transport the vials in cool packs to the place of demand and sell them. more