Thirty students were vaccinated using a single syringe in Madhya Pradesh's Sagar on Wednesday in a shocking violation of single-use of syringe procedure. The vaccinator has been arrested while the district vaccination officer has been suspended.
The vaccinator, Jitendra, claimed only one syringe was sent by the authorities and he was ordered by the "head of department" to vaccinate all the children with it. In a video recorded by the parents of students, Jitendra said he did not know her name.
Disposable syringes, meant for single use, have been around since the 1990s since HIV started spreading.
"The person who delivered the materials only gave a single syringe," Jitendra is heard saying in a video recorded on the spot by the anxious parents.
Asked if he was aware that one syringe should not be used to inject multiple people, Jitendra said, "I know that. Which is why I asked them if I have to use just one syringe and they said 'yes'. How is this my fault? I did what I was asked to do."
Shocking violation of “One needle, one syringe, only one time” protocol in #COVID19#vaccination, in Sagar a vaccinator vaccinated 30 school children with a single syringe at Jain Public Higher Secondary School @firstname.lastname@example.org/d6xekYQSfX— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) July 27, 2022
Sagar district administration has lodged a First Information Report against Jitendra for negligence and blatantly violating the Central government's "one needle, one syringe, one time" pledge.
A departmental inquiry has also been started against Dr Rakesh Roshan, the District Immunization Officer who was in charge of sending the vaccine and the other required materials in the morning.
The incident occurred during a Covid vaccination camp for school children at Jain Public Higher Secondary School in Sagar city. Noticing that the children were being vaccinated with a single syringe, the parents raised alarm.
Collector in-charge Kshitij Singhal immediately instructed the Chief Medical and Health Officer to conduct an inspection. Jitendra, however, was not present during the inspection. Sources said his phone was also switched off since the incident came to light.
A month before COVID-19 vaccination started in India in January 2021, the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare had pledged a strict "One needle, one syringe, only one time" protocol.
Similar protocols have also been advised by international agencies, including WHO and UNICEF.