PIL on Pentavalent to aid pvt biz, says govt

TNN Jan 17, 2012,
KOCHI: The public interest litigation challenging implementation of Pentavalent vaccination programme in Kerala citing adverse effects is aimed at helping private companies supplying the vaccine, the central government contended on Monday.
Pentavalent vaccine, including the vaccine against Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib), was rolled out across the State on December 14 last year as part of the Universal Immunization Programme.
National and international experts of World Health Organization investigated the deaths alleged to be due to Pentavalent vaccination in Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Pakistan but were found to be not related to the vaccine, central government stated in the affidavit.

Pentavalent vaccine is available in Indian private market since 2004 and is being administered by private practitioners at an exorbitant price whereas the same is being given under Universal Immunization Programme of the central government freely, the affidavit said.
Out of a total 1.67 crore doses administered since 2004, 1.56 crore doses have been administered during the period of 2007 to 2011. Indian manufacturers for Pentavalent have increased from one in 2004 to five in 2009 due to the surge in demand, and Rs 6,000 is being charged for a single course of Pentavalent.
The intention of this petition is only to prevent the government from providing the vaccine free of charge so that commercial interests of private sector are protected, the affidavit states.
The central government also stated in the affidavit that more than 41,000 children have been vaccinated with Pentavalent since its introduction in Kerala and Tamil Nadu recently and no adverse event was noted. Pentavalent has been used in Goa since 2008, with more than 28,000 vaccinations until July last year, and no adverse event was noted, the affidavit said.
Countering a petition by a Wayanad-based NGO that the vaccination programme is being implemented without scientific health studies, the central government filed an affidavit at the Kerala High Court that pointed out that Pentavalent has been used for the past seven years by private players and 1.67 crore doses have been sold without any adverse effects

Dr Jagannath Chatterji ‘s response to the TOI article that has not been published ,is below :


It is a pity that the Govt of India, in tandem with private agencies like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the GAVI and PATH is misleading the public and ignoring genuine fears and concerns of the public.

It is true that deaths have occurred shortly after administering the vaccine (Pentavalent) in three neighbouring countries and the vaccine consequently pulled out. It has been reintroduced in Sri Lanka after tampering with the adverse effect reporting format which ensures that deaths cannot be linked to the vaccine. The same has been done in India.

Why is an agency like GAVI giving such a costly vaccine free of cost to the GoI? What interest does this private agency have? Is it not true that this is also a temporary arrangement and the GoI will have to spend a huge amount of money to procure the vaccine after the contract is over? What skullduggery is going on here?

Why doesn’t the Govt pull up the IAP for recommending and administering 1.67 crores of doses of a vaccine with highly questionable credentials? What long term follow up has been done on these children? How many of them have died? How many have suffered adverse reactions? Were the informed consent of the parents taken before administering the vaccine? Where are the papers to prove that?

The Nuremberg Code clearly says ALL medical interventions and prescriptions should follow the principle of Informed Consent. The GoI that is a signatory to this act cannot feign ignorance.

Dr Harold Buttram, MD, of the USA in a path breaking book has accused Pentavalent vaccines of causing Sudden Infant Death syndrome and also Shaken Baby Syndrome. The death reported in Kerala strongly resembles the latter.

Why was the press asked for “positive reporting” after a series of genuine negative reports appeared of this vaccine reflecting the genuine doubts of very senior doctors and medical scientists of our country? Is the press being gagged? Are the doctors and health workers free to report deaths and adverse reactions? One sincerely doubts.

I am sure the people of Kerala will not tolerate this chicanery and will give a fitting reply. What a mess we are in! We are having to battle our own Government to fight for the lives and health of our children! Will our Health Minister and his Secretary kindly stand up and upon oath tell us what the ground situation really is?

We are waiting for your explanation Mr Health Minister. Kindly let us know if the facts mentioned in this letter have been considered before the Central Govt replied to the Kerala High Court Enquiry.