Vaccine Worth $1.3m ‘Goes Bad’ in Health Ministry Store

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pentavalent Vaccine worth $1.3 million, enough to vaccinate 400,000 infants against five potentially deadly diseases, has spoiled in a storage room at the National Health Services (NHS) Ministry. Three junior officials have been suspended for negligence which resulted in the temperature variation causing the vaccine to spoil.

According to an NHS Ministry official, an email sent from a fake account informed Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq that Pentavalent vaccine worth $1.3 million had spoiled in the storeroom because of variation in temperature. Copies of the email had also been sent to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Unesco and other international donors.

The senator who is the Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio received the email on February 22, from a sender posing to be Dr Rana Mehmood, National Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) Manager.

When Senator Farooq asked Dr Mehmood, in person, how the vaccine had gone bad, he responded that he did not know because he had not sent the email.

The official said the senator and Dr Mehmood decided to check the store and found out that the information in the email was correct. The Vaccine Vial Monitor (VVM) a thermochromic label on vials containing vaccines which gives a visual indication of whether the vaccine has been kept at a temperature which preserves its potency, had changed colour.

NHS Ministry officials found out that the air conditioning unit installed in the storage room had been switched off from outside the store causing the variation in temperature which spoiled the vaccine.

Source: DAWN (link opens in a new window)

Health Care