KATHMANDU, June 15: It has been found that the 'Vero Cell' vaccine against COVID-19, which was allocated for people belonging to the 60 to 64 years age group, has been widely misused. People other than the specified age group were also vaccinated, according to the Family Welfare Division.
The government had launched the vaccination program for about 500,000 people in the age group of 60-64 years with the ‘Vero Cell’ vaccines provided by China in grant from June 8.
Dr Taranath Pokhrel, chief of the division, said that the vaccine was found to be misused by the local level people's representatives including those in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign district coordination committee. He said that health workers had called and informed about the misuse of vaccines.
"It has been seen that other groups have also been vaccinated by going beyond the rules," he said. “People belonging to the business fraternity and other professions have been found to be vaccinated.”
According to Hari Kunwar, head of the Health Department of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, the vaccination center was managed in coordination with the District Public Health Office. He said that the second phase of vaccination has been canceled and handed over to four hospitals in the capital after hearing that the vaccine was being misused in the wards.
Vaccination of people outside the target group puts people in the older age group at risk of the third wave, Dr Pokhrel said. However, he said that data was yet to be collected on how many doses of vaccine were given to those who do not belong to the targeted age group.
Noting that vaccinating people outside the target group is against the rules of the government, Dr Pokhrel said appropriate action could be taken against those involved. "Vaccination of those who do not belong to the target group puts senior citizens at high risk of the disease," he said. “Those who misused the vaccine against the rules can be taken action by the bodies concerned through study and monitoring.”
Spokesperson of the MoHP Dr Krishna Prasad Poudel said that a study on vaccine misuse was being carried out and action would be taken against the employees and people's representatives involved as per the rules. "Action will be taken as per the rules on the basis of evidence of misuse," he said.