Serum Institute to manufacture vaccine again

A month ago,institute destroyed several million doses of Nasovac as it was not in demand

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Published: April 4, 2012 2:18:52 am

A month ago,institute destroyed several million

doses of Nasovac as it was not in demand

In the wake of resurgence of H1N1 virus,the Serum Institute of India has decided to roll out a few lakh doses of its intra-nasal vaccine Nasovac.

Only a month ago,the Institute had to destroy several million doses of the vaccine. But based on fresh demand they hope to come out with few batches of Nasovac by May. In March alone,Pune district has seen 271 swine flu infections and 11 deaths.

Dr Prasad Kulkarni,Director of Clinical Trials at Serum Institute of India,when contacted,said there were several requests and since the cases have increased in a month alone,a few lakh doses of the vaccine will be rolled out. Officials said it will take one and a half month to perform quality tests and other measures and the vaccine will be out in May.

Serum Institute of India had launched indigenously developed intra-nasal vaccine Nasovac two years ago when swine flu pandemic had led to the death of 414 persons in 2009 and 524 in 2010 in Maharashtra. However,several million unused doses had to be discarded after the pandemic faded away last year.

Meanwhile,at Sassoon Hospital,eight ventilators have been purchased which would arrive by mid April,officials said.

National Institute of Virology Deputy Director Dr M S Chadda said throat swab samples for detection of swine flu virus are being mainly sent from Pune and other parts of Maharashtra. “The virus is evolving but there are no significant changes,” Chadda said,adding that the genomic sequencing of the virus was under way.

State surveillance officer Dr Pradip Awate said clinical observations have shown that the disease is not as severe as it was in 2009. “This is a milder form compared to the pandemic virus,” Awate said. Forty per cent of the 271 persons affected are in the age group 20-40 years and while Pune has the maximum number of cases,there were eight positive swine flu infections in Mumbai and three in Aurangabad.

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