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Aligarh empty vaccine case: Initial investigation reveals nurse Niha Khan had criminal mindset, could hamper vaccination drive. Details

Niha Khan confessed to inserting injections inside the body of the vaccine recipients but taking them out without releasing the vaccine.

The district health committee probing Aligarh empty syringe case said that since ANM (auxiliary nurse midwife) Niha Khan has been found guilty of misconduct and medical malpractice and negligence, she has been expelled from her job with immediate effect. Confirming that Niha Khan has been booked, the committee gave its consent for conducting judicial inquiry against the ANM.

The FIR has been registered against Niha Khan under Section 203, 176, 465, 427, 120 B 3/4 of IPC at Civil Lines police station of Aligarh. Niha Khan has been booked based on a complaint from the chief medical officer (CMO), Aligarh, Dr Bhanu Pratap Kalyani, stating that 29 COVID vaccines loaded syringes were thrown away in garbage & the beneficiaries were marked as ‘vaccinated’ at Jamalpur PHC. Dr Afreen, in-charge of the Centre, accused of covering up the treacherous act, has also been named in the FIR.

In her statement recorded on May 25, Niha Khan confessed to inserting injections inside the body of the vaccine recipients but taking them out without releasing the vaccine. She then threw the loaded vaccines in the dustbin.

Dr Afreen also confessed that at around 4:30 pm she received a call from Arvind Pharmacist informing her about the incident. Arvind Pharmacist also sent Dr Afreen pictures which clearly showed the loaded AD syringe cut from the hub (plastic part at base of needle) with the help of a hub cutter.

Dr Afreen Khan said in her defence that before she could inform the higher authorities, she only received a call from the chief medical officer (CMO) inquiring about the incident. She said she regrets that she did not inform the authorities about the incident.

According to reports, Dr Afreen was aware of this, but still, she did not bother to inform her superiors about Niha’s act. Reports had suggested that Dr Afreen Khan could be transferred from the Jamalpur Urban health centre to her original posting in Harduaganj.

Terming the entire incident as ‘vaccine Jihad’, Sudarshan News claims that Niha Khan carried out this inhumanely act purposely as she did not want the Covid-19 pandemic to end. She was also doing it intentionally so as to discredit the BJP government led by Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh, claims Sudarshan News.

The matter came to light on May 24 (Monday) when 29 syringes loaded with Covaxin were found in the dustbin at Jamalpur urban primary health centre in Aligarh. The ANM on duty Niha Khan was suspected of purportedly throwing away the syringes. 

All the beneficiaries of the vaccine that the ANM cheated, were in the age group of 18-44 years. Their details were updated on the COWIN portal saying that they have received the doses.

It is pertinent to note that the incident of binning loaded Covid-19 vaccine injections in the trash took place at a time when there is a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines across the country, and emphasis is placed on the judicious use of vaccines and minimizing their wastage.  

Note: An earlier version of the report included a video wrongly attributed to ANM Niha Khan administering the vaccine. The copy has been updated and error is regretted.

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