The central government said on June 10 that it is committed to preventing the misuse of data on eVIN, a platform used by the government for inventory management of vaccines and tracking storage temperature data about the jabs under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP).
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that it asked states and Union Territories to seek permission from the Centre before sharing eVIN data to prevent any commercial misuse, according to a statement.
The Centre’s clarification came after several media organisations highlighted the content of a letter from the Union Health Ministry to states and UTs in this regard. The letter stated that the data must ‘not be shared with any other organisation, partner agency, media agency, online and offline public forums’.
The ministry clarified that its previous order was “solely to prevent any misuse of this data by various agencies for commercial purposes.”
“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,” the ministry said.
The Health Ministry has been using the eVIN electronic platform for all vaccines used under UIP for more than six years now, the statement added.
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”, it said.