Jaipur: Even as Rajasthan is grappling with a vaccine shortage, more than 300 doses of Covaxin went missing in the cold-storage facility at a government hospital in Jaipur.
Officials at the hospital said they had checked and accounted for the stock on April 11. On April 12, a fresh consignment of 489 vaccines doses was received. When the stock was checked again, officials found 320 doses missing.
It is understood that guards were posted outside the cold storage facility. According to an official, all vials brought to the vaccination centre are accounted for; so the vaccine doses most likely went missing at the storage facility.
The hospital management has filed an FIR with the nearby Shastri Nagar police station and investigation has begun. SHO Dilip Singh said the police are checking the CCTV footage of the hospital and all staff are being questioned. The police are also going through the stock register of the hospital
Meanwhile, a political spat has erupted over the missing vaccines.
Union minister and Jodhpur MP Gajendra Singh Shekhawat targeted the Rajasthan government. In a tweet, Shekhawat said, “The country’s only case of vaccine theft in Rajasthan. Under patronage from the state, the morale of criminals is so high that even corona has failed. Congratulations to the chief minister on his record breaking performance in failures.”
State BJP president Satish Poonia also put out a tweet saying, “Thefts are taking place in homes, temples, the secretariat, hospitals. Only vaccine theft was remaining which has been accomplished today. Under chief minister Ashok Gehlot thieves are having a field day while the public are living under the shadow of fear.”
Last week, chief minister Ashok Gehlot had written to prime minister Narendra Modi over shortage of vaccines in Rajasthan and said that the state had only two days of stock left. He had urged the centre to send 30 lakh doses of vaccine to the state to continue uninterrupted with the vaccination drive.