None of the cases concerning illegal trading of Covid vaccine (Covishield) and injections (Remdesivir) for Covid treatment have anything to do with the vaccines and injection supplied to the Manipur government by the Central government, state immunisation officer (SIO) Dr Th Manihar clarified on Friday.
Manihar was replying to a query raised by the Imphal Free Press during a state-level press briefing on COVID-19 pandemic held at State Ophthalmic Cell, Imphal, concerning the frequent interception of illegal consignment of the vaccines and injections by security forces.
Regarding the recent seizure of 100 Covishield vaccines from Canchipur area, Imphal West, he said that those vaccines are reportedly directly brought into the state from Delhi by flight.
The illegal vaccines and injections seized in the state are different from the vaccines and injections supplied to the state government by the Serum Institute of India and the Central government, he said.
However, cases have been lodged to track down the loopholes in connection with the illegal trading of the vaccines and injections, he further said, adding necessary procedures had also been taken up to check whether the seized vaccines and injections are genuine or not.
The SIO also mentioned that investigation and nabbing of such illegal trades of vaccines and injections from the black market is the job of the law enforcing agencies.
Regarding the vaccines hesitancy in the state, Manihar said the rate of vaccine hesitancy in the valley districts has become low but it is high in the hill districts.
He informed that around 70-80 per cent of the people (eligible for vaccination), living in the valley districts have received the Covid jabs and 99 per cent of the people (eligible for vaccination) of Jiribam had been vaccinated.
Pointing out that vaccine hesitancy also occur in the name of religions practiced, he appealed to religious leaders and civil bodies to extend support in the vaccination programme.
Regarding the cases of death after administering the Covid vaccine, he said, "They may or may not be coincidental; however, there is no any accurate data on the cause of the deaths after vaccination till date."