State govt opts for mass immunisation drive to counter Hepatitis B outbreak

The state government,on Saturday,opted for mass immunisation under strict medical supervision in Modasa,which is reeling under a Hepatitis B outbreak.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad/vadodara | Published:February 22, 2009 2:22 am

The state government,on Saturday,opted for mass immunisation under strict medical supervision in Modasa,which is reeling under a Hepatitis B outbreak. The death toll continues to increase,with health officials reporting 35 deaths and admission of over a hundred positive cases. Additional teams from the National Institute of Virology (NIV),Pune and AIIMS (All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences),New Delhi are now camping in Modasa.

The government has also availed 60,000 vaccines and is arranging for another 6 lakh from Hyderabad,said state Health Minister Jay Narayan Vyas at an emergency meeting.

The Hepatitis B vaccine is costly and to avoid spurious vaccines from being administered by private practitioners,the state Health Department has opted for mass immunisation. It will be under strict medical supervision,as the outbreak is said to have occurred due to the use of infected syringes.

The state Health Department has already cautioned people to avoid taking injections or intravenous drips as far as possible.

Dr Mandip Chaddha and Dr Vinit Ahuja are heading the additional NIV and the AIIMS team respectively.

Meanwhile,the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has rushed a stock of 25,000 Hepatitis B vaccines to Modasa. On Saturday afternoon,a special container left Vadodara carrying nearly 25,000 vaccines. Top health officials at the VMC said the decision was taken after taking stock of the health situation in the city.

“We were approached by the Regional Deputy Director of Sabarkantha and we acted quickly on it. We had a stock of nearly 37,000 vaccines,out of which we have rushed 25,000 to Modasa where it is required the most. We have kept 12,000 vaccines for the city since we will also require it locally,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner A O Sharma.

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has also been pressed into service. FDA officials are checking the medical stocks,restaurants,hospitals,nursing homes,blood banks and syringe stockists in Modasa and its neighbourhood.

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