Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Sunday conducted an inspection at a hotel in suburban Andheri and found several COVID-19 vaccines stored there in a normal fridge, in violation of the laid down norms.
The Covaxin doses found stored there have been sealed and an inquiry has been ordered, she said.
The mayor conducted the inspection at The Lalit Hotel in Andheri East, during which some Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials accompanied her.
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Talking to reporters later, Pednekar said there is a tie-up between the hotel and Criticare Hospital, a local private hospital.
The hospital had procured the COVID-19 vaccine doses from the central government, which the civic and the state authorities were not aware of, she said.
"The Lalit Hotel had received a proposal from the hospital that people can be vaccinated there (at the hotel). As per the proposal, those people, who do not have a family to look after following the vaccination, can stay in the hotel after inoculation...Here 500 people have been vaccinated," the mayor said.
The hotel is not to be blamed, but the hospital has not adhered to the norms concerning the cold storage of vaccines, she said.
"How did they get Covaxin doses when many BMC centres don't have them? I found doses, which were stored in a normal fridge. This can result in side-effects to those vaccinated. The recovered vaccines have been sealed and an inquiry will be carried out," Pedkenar added.
In a statement to Moneycontrol, Criticare Hospital sought to clarify their stand.
"On May 22, 2021 we conducted a vaccination camp from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm for employees of ICICI Bank. After attaining all the requisite approvals and permits, along with the mandated CVC code from BMC – we administered the vaccine to 750 employees at Lalit Hotel, a venue pre-decided by the organization. The camp was organized following the required protocols and was fully equipped with all the necessary medical requirements. The vaccines were carefully carried and inoculated to everyone with all the vital safety precautions. Further to this, we did the vaccination camp only for a single day. Criticare Hospital was not involved with any vaccination programme carried out in the hotel before or after May 22, 2021. As a part of the medical fraternity, we understand the impetus to follow all the safety procedures and undertaking," the statement read.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.