Use H1N1 vaccine stock: Centre to State
Almost 60 per cent of the H1N1 vaccine Karnataka received from the Centre in March still remains unused, compelling the Union Health Ministry to ask the state to expedite the vaccination programme.
With a new bout of H1N1 outbreak in Kerala, which is spreading fast, the ministry has now prodded Karnataka to use the stock to vaccinate the healthcare workers at the earliest.
In March, 124,200 doses (around 60,000 vials) of H1N1 vaccine, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, was supplied to the state. Till June 23, only 46,061 doses were used.
Union health secretary K Sujatha Rao asked the state to make the vaccination “mandatory for all health workers without fail”. Moreover, the vaccination should be carried out in an urgent manner as “the life of this vaccine is not very long and needs to be utilised well before its expiry date.” The vaccine has a shelf life of a year.
“With the setting in of monsoon and the winter season, probability of H1N1 emerging as a major outbreak and serious morbidity can not be ruled out,” Rao said in a letter to E V Raman Reddy, principal secretary (health), a copy of which is available with Deccan Herald.
The vaccines are meant for doctors, nurses, para-medical and support staff working in areas most vulnerable to the infection. In March, the state health officials had said about 54,000 health workers in government hospitals would be vaccinated, adding, there would not be any compulsion.