Three or four Indian firms will manufacture it: Union Health Secretary
An indigenous vaccine for H1N1 will be available in the market from mid-May, Union Health Secretary Sujatha Rao has said.
The Union government is working out the costing, but it will eventually depend on “demand and supply,” Dr. Rao told reporters on the sidelines of the International Conference on Health Systems Strengthening (ICONHSS 2010). “It will definitely be much cheaper than if we import the vaccine. Three or four Indian pharmaceutical companies will manufacture the vaccine and distribute it throughout the country.”
Already the vaccine has been sent to frontline health workers to protect them in their line of duty, she said. The Central government remained in the watch mode and would be prepared to tackle any resurgence.
“We are not expecting a resurgence but every virus/epidemic goes through an up and down curve. We are prepared for winter; if there is another wave we will be able to handle it. Monitoring is also happening on a daily basis,” Dr. Rao said. The country had done well so far in containing the epidemic compared to the global scale. For a country of vast populations, there were 30,000 cases and the number of deaths was limited to under 1500, she said.
The Union Health Secretary urged the public to buy the vaccine to protect themselves against the infection.