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 www.dnasyndication.com
Add To Lightbox
Calculate Price

More on India

Govt, Cong spar over 'Hindu terror'
DNMUM341454 | 8/2/2015 12:00:00 AM | Author : dna correspondent | WC :634

New Delhi: A new set of war of words has broken out between the government and the Congress making the prospects of breaking parliamentary logjam further bleak. Even as the Congress on Saturday flayed home minister Rajnath Singh for accusing ex-UP

Add To LightboxCalculate Price

High-level meet to discuss IS threat
DNMUM341455 | 8/2/2015 12:00:00 AM | Author : dna correspondent | WC :180

New Delhi: Union home secretary LC Goyal chaired a high-level meeting of director generals of police and home secretaries of states that are seen as vulnerable catchment areas for terrorist organisations like Islamic State in an attempt to sensitise
Add To LightboxCalculate Price

Its 'reigning' Eastern command officers in top brass of army
DNMUM341456 | 8/2/2015 12:00:00 AM | Author : Deevakar Anand | WC :344

New Delhi: Officers from the Eastern Command of the Indian Army have come to form the top brass at headquarters in Delhi in recent past underlining the government's renewed focus on defence of India's eastern borders that, among other countries, i

Add To LightboxCalculate Price

Women's panel chief pulls up Bassi over women's safety
DNMUM341457 | 8/2/2015 12:00:00 AM | Author : dna correspondent | WC :131

New Delhi: With her position firmly consolidated as the new Delhi Commission for Women chief, Swati Maliwal hauled up Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi on the issue of women's safety in the capital, on Saturday.
Maliwal shot off two letters to Ba
Add To LightboxCalculate Price