The Karnataka government on Tuesday restricted private hospitals from following the open vial policy in the recently issued guidelines. The government issued a notification for the pribate hospitals stating that private hospitals will not be allowed to reuse vials once opened.
"Once opened, a vial will have to be used within 4 hours itself," the notification read.
This comes days after Bharat Biotech announced that opened vials of its vaccine against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) can be stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius for up to 28 days and are not required to be discarded immediately in a day or at the end of the immunization session. It stated that the extension of Covaxin’s shelf life up to 12 months from the date of manufacturing was recently approved by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
Notably, the Central government in June this year had advised vaccinators to mark the date and time of opening of each vial and be used or discarded within 4 hours of opening. It further urged all States/ UTs to cater to at least 100 beneficiaries in one vaccination session, with an exception to remote and sparsely populated areas, where a session for a lesser number of beneficiaries could be organised.
In a directive, the government had said,"Vaccine manufacturing takes a lot of time and the demand for these exceed the supply many times. Thus it is important to monitor and ensure that the precious tools to address the pandemic is should be used optimally and judiciously."
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