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

Reel in the stereotype...
DNMUM314567 | 8/31/2014 12:00:00 AM | Author : Yogesh Pawar | WC :1446

Singham, Singham Returns, Aiyyaa, English Vinglish, Khiladi 786, Agneepath, Kaminey... A seemingly disparate list of films differing in theme, mood and backdrop but with one common thread. The protagonists are Maharashtrians, not extras put in for co
Add To LightboxCalculate Price

Million Dollar Babies
DNMUM314568 | 8/31/2014 12:00:00 AM | Author : Roshni Nair | WC :1309

Many landmark surrogacy cases surfaced after 'Baby M' in 1988, but few have commanded as much attention as the recent Baby Gammy case. Pattaramon Chanbua, the 21-year-old Thai surrogate who gave birth to twins Gammy and Pipah, claimed that commission
Add To LightboxCalculate Price

Man jumps into sea after fight with wife, dies
DNMUM314573 | 8/31/2014 12:00:00 AM | Author : Somendra Sharma | WC :224

There seems to be no end to suicides happening off the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. A 34-year-old BMC staffer committed suicide in front of his wife on Saturday morning near the sea link after a fight with her. The incident took place around 8.50am on Satu
Add To LightboxCalculate Price

Boman gets Pujari threat
DNMUM314574 | 8/31/2014 12:00:00 AM | Author : Somendra Sharma | WC :279

Gangster Ravi Pujari's latest target is actor Boman Irani. The Mumbai Police has confirmed, following threats to Irani, that he has been provided protection. The actor, whose film Happy New Year is slated for a Diwali release, had received the call a
Add To LightboxCalculate Price