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Covid-19 jab sale: Health Ministry holds internal probe

2 years ago

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  • Internal inquiry based on complaints

  • Legal action promised against offenders

  • Public urged to refrain from purchase

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa   The Health Ministry has launched an internal investigation on the complaints received regarding the sale of Covid-19 vaccines, the Ministry’s Communications Director and Public Health Services Deputy Director General Dr. Hemantha Herath said.  He told The Sunday Morning that the Ministry would take necessary legal action against those who were found guilty of such an act.  Reiterating that Covid-19 vaccines were not available for sale at local markets, the Ministry warned the public to be cautious of such and not to purchase such vaccines.  Last month, there were reports on the alleged sale of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield Covid-19 vaccine at Rs. 5,000 a jab, at a time when the Government is attempting to procure stocks of the same and only the government health authorities are authorised to carry out the Covid-19 vaccination drive. Allegations have also been levelled against officials at the Health Ministry of involvement in such vaccine sales, allegations which, however, have been immediately denied by the Ministry.   Furthermore, several such incidents of distributing vaccines to friends and relations as well as selling vaccines at higher rates have also been reported during the past few weeks. Meanwhile, as confirmed by the Police Media Division, the Police have so far recorded only one incident of a theft of 30 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine lodged by the Habaraduwa Medical Officer of Health (MOH).  It confirmed that the Habaraduwa Police have launched a special investigation into the theft.  Police are investigating a driver and a minor employee attached to the Habaraduwa MOH office who are suspected to be involved in the incident.  According to the complaint lodged by the MOH in Habaraduwa, the stolen stock of Sinopharm doses is valued at Rs. 90,000.