You are here: Home >> English News & Features >> India

Cancer vaccine programme suspended after 4 girls die

DNMUM168502 | 4/8/2010 | Author : Vineeta Pandey | WC :334 | Health

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has told Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat to immediately suspend the cervical cancer control vaccination programme for girls. The programme is part of a two-year study to look into the utility of a vaccine in public health programmes and acceptability of Gardasil, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine made by Merck. Gardasil, available in chemist shops across the country, is marketed in India by MSD Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd.
The programme was marred by controversy after four deaths and complications among 120 girls were reported after vaccination. The girls complained of stomach disorders, epilepsy, headaches and early menarche. Women activists fear the vaccine may impact the mental health of girls who have shown no signs of distress so far.
Health ministry sources said the vaccination programme is being conducted by Gardasil, jointly with PATH, a Seattle-based NGO, ICMR and the two state governments. About 32,000 girls, aged 10-14, were to be tested in the study.
ICMR chief Dr VM Katoch clarified ICMR was only a technical partner, with an advisory role, in the project. But Katoch said they were checking out who was at fault.
Questioning the study, CPMleader Brinda Karat said: "How has the government embarked on the study of giving three injections to the girls when it is also planning a massive multi-centric dose determination study to see if two doses will suffice?"
For a drug to be administered to children, Karat said, it has to go through stages of clinical trial, including phase 3 adult clinical trials. With Gardasil, only one trial has been carried out with a small sample of 110 girls, which has followed up with them for a month after completion of vaccination and that too only to look at the immune response post-vaccination, Karat said. The vaccine has also been approved for adult women aged 27, Karat said, without any trials with them at all.
Karat also alleged scientific logic and ethical guidelines have been violated at each step during drug and vaccine trials.

Copyright restricted. Under license from
Add To Lightbox
Calculate Price

More on India

“I inherited life itself”
DNMUM385541 | 3/26/2017 12:00:00 AM | Author : Ranjana Konatt | WC :1627

On January 1, 1995, a baby girl was born to an unwed Indian woman, who shortly after, opted to be free of responsibility towards her child. The pregnancy had undoubtedly drawn unwanted attention and was kept under wraps with the child being delivered
Add To LightboxCalculate Price

French dining under Udaipur’s royal skies
DNMUM385542 | 3/26/2017 12:00:00 AM | Author : Amy Fernandes | WC :262

The French have a fabulous way of celebrating life: always with food and drink. Or if you will they celebrate food and drink at every and any occasion like Good France did on March 21st. The prelude was as follows: A total of 2,000 chefs across all f
Add To LightboxCalculate Price

Mahabharata on a string
DNMUM385543 | 3/26/2017 12:00:00 AM | Author : Heena Khandelwal | WC :395

One hour. Five artistes. And, at the end, thunderous applause and a standing ovation from a packed theatre. That’s the rapturous welcome Anurupa Roy’s Mahabharata got at the recent Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) in Delhi, where it won t
Add To LightboxCalculate Price

‘I am not politically charged’
DNMUM385544 | 3/26/2017 12:00:00 AM | Author : Pratik Ghosh | WC :646

Despite the mammoth success of Dangal, lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya remains as humble and soft-spoken as ever. The National Award winner is busy writing lyrics for Jagga Jasoos, Thugs of Hindostan and Bhavesh Joshi. He gets candid in an interview w
Add To LightboxCalculate Price