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

Mentally-challenged Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails await repatriation
DNMUM372549 | 8/30/2016 12:00:00 AM | Author : Iftikhar Gilani | WC :492

New Delhi: As many as 22 mentally challenged Indians, lodged in Pakistan jails even after completing their sentences years back, are awaiting their repatriation for want of verification of their addresses and antecedents. Two of them are even nameles
Add To LightboxCalculate Price

SC pulls up Azam Khan for 'insensitive' remarks
DNMUM372552 | 8/30/2016 12:00:00 AM | Author : dna correspondent | WC :301

New Delhi: Taking a serious note of the Uttar Pradesh government and its urban development minister Azam Khan's statement about Bulandshahr gang-rape victim, the Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the state government and said, "Can the powerful
Add To LightboxCalculate Price

Pellet guns to be used in rarest of the rare cases
DNMUM372572 | 8/30/2016 12:00:00 AM | Author : Manan Kumar | WC :349

New Delhi: Facing strong protest from security forces, particularly the central reserve police force (CRPF) that is at the forefront in tackling public ire in the valley, the Centre has decided against banning the pellet guns in toto.
However, i
Add To LightboxCalculate Price

Curfew lifted, shutdown continues
DNMUM372573 | 8/30/2016 12:00:00 AM | Author : dna correspondent | WC :362

Srinagar: For the first time since the unrest began, Jammu and Kashmir government lifted the 52-day- long curfew from most of the places on Monday in a bid to test the political waters ahead of the visit of the all-party delegation to the restive Val
Add To LightboxCalculate Price