Islamabad: Pentavalent vaccine worth $1.3 million, enough to vaccinate 400,000 infants against five potentially deadly diseases, has spoiled in a storage room at the National Health Services (NHS) of Pakistan, media reported on Wednesday.
The pentavalent vaccine is a combination of five vaccines in one -- diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, Hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B, according to the Unicef.
Three junior officials have been suspended for negligence. The vaccine had gone bad due to temperature variation, Dawn online reported.
An email sent from a fake account informed Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq that the vaccine worth $1.3 million had spoiled in the storeroom because of variation in temperature, according to a NHS official.
Copies of the email were also sent to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Unesco and other international donors.
The senator received the email on February 22, from a sender posing as Rana Mehmood, manager at the National Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI).
When the senator asked Mehmood, in person, how the vaccine had gone bad, he responded that he did not know because he had not sent the email.
The NHS official said the senator and Mehmood decided to check the store and found out the information in the email was correct.
"NHS ministry secretary Ayub Sheikh immediately suspended a storekeeper and a sub-engineer," the official added.