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

Greenpeace faces shutdown as funds dry up after govt action
DNMUM334546 | 5/6/2015 12:00:00 AM | Author : Nikhil M Ghanekar | WC :458

New Delhi: In an address to employees of Greenpeace India from its headquarters in Bengaluru, the NGO's executive director Samit Aich informed them on Tuesday to prepare for an imminent shutdown in a month's time as a result of the Central government
Add To LightboxCalculate Price

Modi's China visit a hard test of diplomacy
DNMUM334547 | 5/6/2015 12:00:00 AM | Author : Iftikhar Gilani | WC :498

Prime minister Narendra Modi will continue with his robust diplomacy, paying a three-nation official visit to China, Mongolia and South Korea from May 14–19, just a week before celebrating one year in power. His three-day visit to China from May 14-1
Add To LightboxCalculate Price

Vishwas row: Kejriwal boycotts media
DNMUM334548 | 5/6/2015 12:00:00 AM | Author : Aradhna Wal | WC :333

New Delhi: The tussle between mainstream media and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal finally came to a head on Tuesday, when the Delhi CM announced that he would no longer talk to the media on any matters apart from governance. This step was fuel
Add To LightboxCalculate Price

Akash missile inducted into army arsenal
DNMUM334549 | 5/6/2015 12:00:00 AM | Author : Deevakar Anand | WC :183

New Delhi: India on Tuesday added into its army's arsenal the indigenous anti-aircraft surface to air -missile (SAM) Akash, putting it into the league of select countries like the US, Russia, Israel and a few others to have such an effective system t
Add To LightboxCalculate Price