September 28, 2008

West Bengal gets only half its vaccine requirement

New Delhi (PTI): Following the closure of three key vaccine manufacturing facilities, the Centre is finding it difficult to meet the requirement of states like West Bengal which are receiving only 50 per cent of the some requisite vaccines needed under Universal Immunisation Programme.
The state is facing acute shortage of essential vaccines, which protect children against several life-threatening diseases, resulting from irregular and inadequate supply from the Centre.
Last year, 1,19,66,436 DPT vaccines, which protects Dyptheria, Pertusis and Tetanus, were needed in West Bengal, but it received only 80,12,020 -- a shortage of about 33 per cent. During current financial year, only about five lakh DPT vaccines were received by the state.

In the first six months of this fiscal the state has received only 7,10,750 measles vaccines as against the demand of 14,96,000 during the period. The TT-PW vaccine requirement was 32,91,000 but only 16,99,400 were received showing a shortage of about 50 per cent.
The condition is similar with other key vaccines like BCG and DT which are also facing short supply.

The issue was raised by State Health Minister Surjya Kanta Mishra during a meeting with Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on Tuesday.

"The licenses of Central Research Institute of Kasauli, Pasteur Institute Coonur and BCG Vaccine Laboratory, Chennai have been suspended without making alternative arrangements for ensuring supply of vaccines," Mishra told Ramadoss.

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