Is the health department ignoring vaccine quality control? – The New Indian Express

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Express press service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Although a student died of rabies in Palakkad this month, the health department gave a cold shoulder to demands for quality control of the rabies vaccine used in the state. Allegations have risen that the ministry made no serious effort to test the quality of the rabies vaccine administered to the victim, ignoring the concerns of experts. A preliminary investigation by the drug control service revealed that the vaccine doses, of the batch given to the 19-year-old girl, had run out.

A health department official said no specific instructions were given to the drug control department to investigate further and carry out quality control. The department spends more than Rs 12 crore about three percent of the government’s total drug purchase on the rabies vaccine. The girl had taken rabies immunoglobulin for extra protection as well as four doses of rabies vaccine as scheduled.

She is one of three victims who had completed the vaccine doses this year. But an inquest report submitted by the Department of Health Services focused on the girl’s serious hand injury as the main cause of death. The report did not find the need for quality control of vaccines. Previously, the health department vouched for the quality and storage mechanism of the vaccine.

“There should be no doubt about the quality of vaccines used to prevent diseases leading to certain death. The potency of the anti-venom produced by these manufacturers is questionable. The state should not compromise on quality when it comes to procuring anti-tetanus, anti-snake venom and anti-rabies products,” said Dr. Purushothaman Kuzhikkathukandiyil, Professor of Pediatrics at MES Malappuram Medical College.

The health service provides hospitals with the rabies vaccines Human IP, produced by Human Biologicals Institute, and Rabies Antiserum IP, produced by Vins Bioproducts. Dr B Aravind, Director of Kollam Pet Hospital and Resource Centre, pointed out that Indian Immunologicals – the parent company of the Institute of Human Biology – has been hit with a heavy fine for the poor quality foot-and-mouth disease vaccine. in July 2021.

“We cannot assume that vaccine manufacturers maintain quality solely because of established procedures for quality. The probability of catching rabies is only 20% even when bitten by a rabid dog. So there is no logic in saying that the same batch of vaccines was used for many people and only one died of rabies,” he said.
Dr. U Nandakumar, chairman of the Campaign Against Pseudo-Science Using Law and Ethics (CAPSULE), said the state supply chain mechanism should be rechecked. Health Minister Veena George did not respond to calls from TNIE.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Although a student died of rabies in Palakkad this month, the health department gave a cold shoulder to demands for quality control of the rabies vaccine used in the state. Allegations have risen that the ministry made no serious effort to test the quality of the rabies vaccine administered to the victim, ignoring the concerns of experts. A preliminary investigation by the drug control service revealed that the vaccine doses, of the batch given to the 19-year-old girl, had run out. A health department official said no specific instructions were given to the drug control department to investigate further and carry out quality control. The department spends more than Rs 12 crore about three percent of the government’s total drug purchase on the rabies vaccine. The girl had taken rabies immunoglobulin for extra protection as well as four doses of rabies vaccine as scheduled. She is one of three victims who had completed the vaccine doses this year. But an inquest report submitted by the Department of Health Services focused on the girl’s serious hand injury as the main cause of death. The report did not find the need for quality control of vaccines. Previously, the health department vouched for the quality and storage mechanism of the vaccine. “There should be no doubt about the quality of vaccines used to prevent diseases leading to certain death. The potency of the anti-venom produced by these manufacturers is questionable. The state should not compromise on quality when it comes to procuring anti-tetanus, anti-snake venom and anti-rabies products,” said Dr. Purushothaman Kuzhikkathukandiyil, Professor of Pediatrics at MES Malappuram Medical College. The health service provides hospitals with the rabies vaccines Human IP, produced by Human Biologicals Institute, and Rabies Antiserum IP, produced by Vins Bioproducts. Dr B Aravind, director of Kollam Pet Hospital and Resource Centre, pointed out that Indian Immunologicals – the parent company of Human Biologicals Institute – has been slapped with a hefty fine for the poor quality of the foot-and-mouth disease vaccine. in July 2021. “We cannot assume that vaccine manufacturers maintain quality solely because of established procedures for quality. The probability of catching rabies is only 20% even when bitten by a rabid dog. So there is no logic in saying that the same batch of vaccines was used for many people and only one died of rabies,” he said. Dr. U Nandakumar, chairman of the Campaign Against Pseudo-Science Using Law and Ethics (CAPSULE), said the state supply chain mechanism should be rechecked. Health Minister Veena George did not respond to calls from TNIE.

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