New Delhi: The Union health ministry on Thursday stated that it is committed to preventing any misuse of this sensitive eVIN data for unauthorised commercial purposes and that’s the reason it had asked the states to obtain the permission of the Centre before sharing the E-VIN data and analytics related to COVID-19 vaccines stocks and the temperature at which they are stored.
The government’s clarification comes after several media reports highlighted the letter of the Union Health Ministry to states/UTs regarding the eVIN inventory and temperature data.
The letter sent to state mission directors of the National Health Mission had stated that the data generated by eVIN (electronic vaccine intelligence network) should “not to be shared with any other organisation, partner agency, media agency, online and offline public forums” without the permission of the union health ministry.
The notice was termed as a ‘gag’ order by many.
The health ministry in its clarification said that the government is committed to transparency in COVID-19 vaccination programme including data associated with it as reflected on Co-WIN.
“The crucial information related to specific vaccine usage trends for multiple vaccines used in Universal Immunization Programme (UIP), and temperature-related data in respect to each such vaccine, can be used to manipulate the market as well as associated research with respect to various vaccines and cold chain equipment. It is important to note that the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is using the E-VIN electronic platform for all vaccines used under UIP for more than six years now. Sharing of sensitive E-VIN data on stocks & storage, temperature requires the Health Ministry’s prior consent.
The data on COVID-19 vaccine stocks, consumption and balance as reflected on Co-WIN platform and is being regularly shared in a transparent manner by the Union Health Ministry with the media and public through weekly press conferences and daily press releases. The health ministry’s letter to the states and UTs in focus was intended to prevent use of such sensitive data for unauthorised commercial purposes,” the ministry said in its statement.
The ministry in its release categorically stated that the Government is committed to transparency in the COVID-19 vaccination programme and that is the reason it came up with a real time IT-based tracking of vaccine logistics up to beneficiaries through Co-WIN. The aim is to share the information with the general public on a regular basis.