SOP for immunisation emergencies issued

Delhi Police gets guide to probe, handle adverse events following vaccination

The Union Ministry of Health and Welfare (Immunisation Division) has issued a Standard Operating Procedure for the Ministry of Home Affairs in case of Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI).

Delhi Police has instructed all DCPs to educate the SHOs about the norms. “We held a meeting with SHOs and instructed them to read the guidelines and pass it on to other officers who will be the first to respond to any adverse situation during immunisation,” said the officer.

The vaccination drive will start from January 16.

The Hindu has a copy of SOP that provides a step by step guide to the police and other response agencies.

The SOP is meant to help the investigator ensure appropriate handling of the vaccine, victim assistance aswell as timely and effective law enforcement.

Evidence collection

In case of an AEFI, the officer must ensure proper handling of the vaccine and diluent as evidence, and make sure the samples are preserved maintaining proper cold chain, reads the SOP.

The police officer must also ensure that the AEFI victims, and any witnesses, are provided assistance and appropriate protection, care and attention.

“The police officer/inspector and the medical officer/district immunisation officer, investigating the case shall ensure that all serious AEFI cases are provided immediate assistance.”

If post-mortem examination of the case is required, the Department of Health shall provide the necessary assistance, states the SOP.

Official stamp

Documentation and completed requisition form for transportation of the AEFI sample to a laboratory must have same official stamp. The seal will ensure the samples and details sent to the lab are not tampered with during transportation, it reads.

The SOP also provides for investigation/interrogation of the vaccinator, if needed. This will help in monitoring immunisation safety, correcting unsafe immunisation practices, reducing negative impact of the event on health and contributing to the quality of immunisation.

While probing serious AEFI, which has resulted in death, the police must “always keep the perspective that the event might be coincidental and/or reaction to the vaccine and it may not be criminal negligence of the vaccinator and/or other workers, for which causality assessment report by an expert is needed”, it reads.

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