A vaccinator allegedly used a single syringe to administer anti-coronavirus vaccine doses to 39 children at a private school in Madhya Pradesh's Sagar city, leading to his arrest and suspension of the district vaccination officer, officials said on Thursday, 28 July.
The incident took place on Wednesday at the Jain Higher Secondary School in the city during a mega vaccination drive, after which a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against the vaccinator, identified as Jitendra Ahirwar, a district official said.
Ahirwar is a student of a private nursing college and had been trained for carrying out vaccination programme by the health department, Sagar district's Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) Dr DK Goswami said.
'There is No Fault of Mine': Vaccinator Claims
However, in a viral video, the vaccinator alleged his head of the department (HoD), who had dropped him at the school in a car, asked him to inoculate everyone present at the centre with one syringe that was provided to him.
“There is no fault of mine,” he claimed in the video.
When CMHO Dr Goswami was asked about the allegations of Ahirwar, he said it was a matter of investigation and maintained the district vaccination officer, who was held responsible for the incident, has already been suspended.
In a related development, cops arrested Ahirwar from Sagar city on Thursday evening and sent him to jail, said Kamal Singh Thakur, in-charge of the Gopalganj police station, where the FIR was filed.
The 39 children, aged 15 and above, were from Classes 9 to 12, a health official said.
How Did the Issue Come to Light?
The parents of some of the students on Wednesday observed the vaccinator was using the same syringe to inoculate the children and raised an alarm for gross negligence on his part, the officials said.
After the parents protested, Sagar's in-charge Collector Kshitij Singhal sent the CMHO to inquire. Those present at the spot told Goswami that the vaccinator allegedly used the same syringe to administer vaccine doses to as many as 39 children, the district official said.
After the protest by parents, Ahirwar escaped from the spot and was not found when the CMHO inspected the school. The accused had also switched-off his mobile phone, Goswami said.
Taking serious cognisance of the incident, Sagar divisional commissioner Mukesh Shukla on Thursday suspended district vaccination officer Dr Shobharam Roshan on the basis of the CMHO's report, another official said.
The suspension order was issued by the divisional commissioner, who directed the collector to appoint another official in place of Dr Roshan, he said.
An official from the Gopalganj police station said they have registered an FIR against Ahirwar under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 336 (rash or negligent act endangering human life or personal safety of others).
On the basis of a report of the CMHO, the collector recommended to the divisional commissioner a departmental probe and appropriate action against district vaccination officer Dr Roshan, Singhal said.
Meanwhile, health officials examined all the 39 children and carried out certain medical tests whose reports came normal, Goswami said.