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Center asks states not to share data on vaccine stocks in public, says it’s ‘sensitive’


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Center has written to the states and Union Territories, advising them not to share the data of the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) system on vaccine stocks and the temperature of vaccine storage at public forums, and stating that it is a “sensitive information and to be used only for program improvement”.

States are supposed to update the Center on stock and transactions of all vaccines — those included in its Universal Immunization Program as well as using the electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network, a vaccine management system implemented in India with the help of United Nations Development Program.

EVIN system is used to track the vaccine stock status and temperature at all levels of vaccine storage — from the national to sub-district levels — after being launched in 2012-13.

“It is overwhelming to see that all states are using the system to update the stock and transactions of Covid vaccines on a daily basis,” said a letter issued to the mission director of the National Health Mission in states on June 4 by the ministry.

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The letter added that data and analytics generated by eVIN for inventory and temperature is owned by the ministry and should not be shared with any other organisation, partner or media agency, online and offline public forums without its consent.

“This is very sensitive information and to be used only for program improvement,” the letter also said.

The letter has come at a time when questions are being raised on the lack of centralized vaccine availability data in public domain and opacity in the vaccine distribution plan to states.

Officials in the ministry, when approached to comment on the content of the letter, however, insisted that this was a routine letter issued to states and is sent periodically on all vaccines and was not issued specifically for Covid vaccines.

“That is because information related to vaccine consumption and cold storage etc can be used by private companies to push their trade agendas in specific areas,” clarified an official in the reproductive and child division of the ministry.

Another official said that data related to Covid vaccine is also updated on the CoWIN portal in real time.

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