ISLAMABAD - The preliminary investigation of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) into damaged vaccine scandal reveals that the children vaccine worth of Rs 443 million had expired due to the non-functioning of the cooling system at the EPI (Expanded Programme on Immunization) stores located in National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad.

The FIA has recently launched an inquiry to fix responsibility for wastage of around 1.4 million doses of Pentavalent and polio vaccines allegedly due to the negligence of some officials working in federal government’ EPI earlier this year.

The inquiry reveals that the vaccine that was to be used for children immunization expired due to non-functioning of the generator at EPI stores and resultantly cooling system of the stores could not work during power outages.

FIA team here on Monday, during the checking of record at EPI premises in NIH confiscated 1361000 doses of Pentavalent vaccine of worth Rs 440 million and 11800 vile of polio having value of Rs 3 million. A senior officer of FIA said that a team of the agency headed by Additional Director Sheikh Ijaz and Inspector Afzal Niazi visited the EPI premises in NIH and seized around 1.4 million doses of expired medicine through 5 (5) notice of FIA Act.

Enquiry Officer Afzal Khan Niazi has directed National Programme Coordinator EPI to submit report along with documents within 24 hours to him in connection with the scam. FIA Islamabad Zone’ Anti-corruption Wing was conducting the inquiry.

A couple of  days back, Federal Ministry of Health and National Regulations had sacked the entire team of the operations chain of EPI and had asked the USAID to help it in improving in vaccine storage and management system.

State Minister for Health Saira Afzal here on last Thursda, while addressing a press conference, had told media persons that the two persons involved in the scam had been repatriated back to the WHO while another two have been suspend.