Government recalls measles vaccines

Government recalls measles vaccines  india's Universal Immunisation Programme may suffer yet another blow. The centre has asked all state governments to stop use of measles vaccine manufactured by Indian Immunological Limited, until further orders, after four infants died following inoculation with the drug.

The children died in the last week of April soon after they were administered the measles vaccine in Tamil Nadu's Thiruvallur district. Soon after the incident, the Union minister for health and family welfare, Anbumani Ramadoss, set up a high-level committee to probe the deaths.

Preliminary investigations linked the deaths to human error. As a precautionary measure, the Tamil Nadu government has ordered that vaccination be carried out only at primary health centres under trained supervision.

Indian Immunological Limited (iil), a subsidiary of the National Development Board, had supplied the measles vaccine for the national immunization programme for the first time.

It was asked to provide 9 million doses, which were supplied to Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Assam, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Tamil Nadu.

The government has now asked iil to stop further supply of the vaccine to the states and has sent samples to the Central Government Laboratory in Kasauli for testing; the laboratory had tested the vaccine before releasing it to the states as part of routine.

Of late, the government has also revoked manufacturing licences of three other public sector vaccine manufacturing units