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Govt ‘gags’ states on vaccine information – ET HealthWorld

A well being ministry letter to all states and UTs warning that information on vaccine shares and temperature in any respect ranges of vaccine storage is “owned” by the ministry and shouldn’t be shared with out its consent is being termed “a gag order” by public well being activists.

The letter to state administrators of the Nationwide Well being Mission dated June 4 acknowledged that information and analytics generated by eVIN (digital vaccine intelligence community) for stock and temperature (of vaccines) was “owned” by the ministry and that it was “not to be shared with any other organisation, partner agency, media agency, online and offline public forums” with out the consent of the ministry. The letter added that it was “very sensitive information and to be used only for programme improvement”.

The letter elaborated that the eVIN system beneath the common immunisation programme was rolled out by the central authorities with the assist of UNDP and is “used to track the vaccine stock, status and temperature at all levels of vaccine storage, from national to the sub-district level”. All states are utilizing the identical system to replace the inventory and transactions of Covid vaccines every day, acknowledged the letter.

“The caution against sharing information is certainly unusual as is the word “owned”,” stated a senior bureaucrat who had retired from the well being ministry. “People have the right to know and the state has the right and the responsibility to inform people about how much vaccines have been received from the Centre. In what way is this information sensitive?” requested Chhaya Pachauli, a public well being activist from Prayas.

Amulya Nidhi of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan stated it was towards the ideas of a public well being emergency to difficulty such a letter. “In a public health emergency, you need to win the confidence of the people. If you hide data on oxygen supply, on deaths, on beds available and on vaccine stocks, how will you build public trust?” requested Nidhi.

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