RAWALPINDI: The district administration of Rawalpindi on Monday has taken action against five health department officials for failing to check the expiration date on a polio vaccine.
At least 50 children were administered an expired polio vaccine in the Dhoke Budhal village on Chak Beli Khan road on Dec 16. Two officials were suspended after the incident, and inquiries were launched by the Punjab health department and the district administration.
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The district administration’s inquiry has completed its investigation and found negligence on the part of five officials the storekeeper, supervisor, area in-charge and vaccinators who did not check the expiration date on the vaccine before administering it to the children.
Their inquiry also revealed that the expired vaccine was delivered to the Rawalpindi division from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and its batch number in official paperwork was different from the batch number of the delivered vaccine.
Deputy Commissioner Saifullah Dogar told media that the five officials found negligent in the inquiry would face disciplinary action under the Punjab employee’s efficiency, discipline and accountability act.
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“The vaccine was delivered to the Rawalpindi division directly from NIH stores as it is close to Islamabad, but all the deliveries were made under the supervision of the Punjab health department. The remaining parts of the province were provided the vaccine via Lahore,” he said.
According to the official documents, he said, the vaccine that was supposed to be delivered to Rawalpindi was sent to Lahore.
He added that there was also negligence on the part of officials, who did not check the expiration dates and handed the vaccine over to area in-charges in various union councils.
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The next vaccination campaign will begin in February, Mr Dogar said. The district administration has contacted cantonment authorities so teams can visit all the cantonment areas and vaccinate children against polio, he further added.