Pune gears up to face swine flu
The Serum Institute of India, Pune, has come up with an intra-nasal form of H1N1 vaccine which will be available in the market in the next 10 days, according to Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla, Chief Managing Director of the Institute, one of the lead players in paediatric vaccines.
His team has been involved in research and development of the vaccine following clinical trials.
Having been at the epicentre of the swine flu epidemic last year, the city is preparing in full swing to fight it this time.
With the onset of the monsoon, the conditions have become favourable for the virus to spread. Health officials in the city say that the last one year has seen a lot of helpful inventions.
“According to the World Health Organisation [WHO], the pandemic can affect 20 per cent of the population in a year. We are prepared for that. We even have the vaccine in place now,” said R. R. Pardeshi, Chief Medical Officer, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
Officials said five swine flu-related deaths had been reported this month since the rains started.
“Forty-three centres, including Naidu Hospital, are open in the city to treat the positive cases. If there is a need, we will train [doctors and staff of] private hospitals too,” Dr. Pardeshi said.
The availability of Tamiflu and the vaccine that was introduced earlier this month would prove precautionary, he told The Hindu.