India likely to start swine flu vaccination next week

March 10th, 2010 - 4:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) India is “most likely” to administer imported swine flu vaccine to the high risk groups from next week, a senior health ministry official said Wednesday.
“Most likely, we will start the vaccination next week,” V.M. Katoch, secretary (Health Research) in ministry of health and family welfare, told IANS.

Katoch said multinational pharma company Sanofi Pasteur has already completed its bridge study and the data has been given to a health ministry committee for analysis.

“The last set of data from Sanofi Pasteur’s bridge study in India came to us Feb 28. The data is now with a government committee, which is analysing it.

“We expect the analysis to end in a few days and vaccination most likely to start the coming week,” he said, adding that the high risk groups like doctors and paramedics will be vaccinated first.

India has already procured 1.5 million doses of swine flu vaccine from Sanofi Pasteur. But authorities had asked the pharma major to conduct a bridge human trail in India to test if it suits the Indian population.

Since, the country reported its first influenza A (H1N1) case in May 2009, over 1,300 people have died due to the pandemic virus and over 30,000 have been infected by it.

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