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    South Asia
     Feb 10, '14

Indian doctors resist deadly vaccine
By Ranjit Devraj

NEW DELHI - A spate of sudden infant deaths following vaccination in India has prompted leading pediatricians to call for stronger regulatory mechanisms to evaluate new vaccines for safety and efficacy before their acceptance into the national immunization program. According to data obtained from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, over the past year 54 babies are recorded to have died soon after receiving the newly introduced "pentavalent" vaccine that is designed to prevent infection by five disease-causing microbes.

Rolled out gradually in different Indian states since December 2012, the pentavalent vaccine is a combination which seeks to

confer immunity against Haemophilius influenzae type B and Hepatitis B, in addition to the protection afforded by the traditional trivalent vaccine against Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus (DPT).

In September 2013 Dr Yogesh Jain, former assistant professor of pediatrics at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and currently expert at India's Planning Commission on developing universal health, filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on pentavalent vaccines. His lawyers argued at preliminary hearings that the "five-in-one" vaccine is banned in Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Japan as also in the developing countries Pakistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, following infant deaths. More ...

(Inter Press Service)




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