At least four children of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were administered expired vaccines in a camp organised at Delhi's CRPF residential premises of Saket Sector 4. These jawans are part of the Special Duty Group, which falls under the Prime Minister's security blanket.
As per complaints made by the family of the jawans, 50 children were administered doses of polio, measles, rotavirus and hepatitis by a private doctor on May 16. Of these at least four children, aged between a month-and-a-half and six months, were given vaccines with an expiry date of April 2020.
As per the anonymous complaint letter sent to the CRPF Director General, 50 children were vaccinated by a private doctor on instructions of the commanding officer (CO). In four cases, the sticker of the vaccine on the immunisation card showed the medicine was expired. News18 has seen a copy of the letter and pictures of the expired medicine tags.
The complainant said when parents of the children asked the doctor about why expired medicine was given, the official first said there will be no side effects and then apologised, but CRPF officials present in the camp threatened the families.
"Sir, our husbands serve their country with all their might and we have always felt proud of them. Why then have officers played with the lives of our children? Our husbands have been threatened with transfer to remote locations like Chhattisgarh and since the incident we have been barred from leaving our camp," says the letter.
The complainant alleged that the register with the immunisation data has been destroyed and the tag of expired medicines burnt. The complainant claims that the doctor was known to one of the senior officers of the battalion and families were taken advantage of because neither the CGHS nor any private clinic was willing to vaccinate the children during the prevailing lockdown.
The family members of the jawans have also alleged they were charged Rs 300 for the vaccination, which is over and above the Maximum Retail Prince (MRP).
CRPF Director General AP Maheshwari, when asked about the allegations, said an inquiry has been ordered. "The inquiry report is expected in a day or two. All facts will emerge then," he said.
In a statement, CRPF spokesperson M Dinakaran said the immunisation program was not official.
"Around 50 children of SDG (Special Duty Group)/CRPF who were due for vaccination could not be administered due to lockdown. The parents of these children have tied up with a clinic and were facilitated into the camp to vaccinate after observing COVID-19 protocols," the statement said. "It is learnt that four doses out of the 116 got expired on April 30. An inquiry has been ordered by the CRPF Medical Directorate and the report is likely to be received soon and findings of the report will be taken to its logical end as per the facts."