Gujarat girls were also given cervical cancer vaccine

This is in addition to 14,019 girls in Andhra Pradesh who were given three shots in a contentious trial which violates many ethical norms and makes a mockery of the informed consent process.

Four deaths were reported from Andhra Pradesh. Two from Gujarat from among the children who were administered these HPV vaccines.  

The vaccine is to protect girls from human papilloma virus, one of the important causative agents of cervical cancer, whose prevalence is very high in India.

The cause of deaths was determined as viral fever, drowning, suicide, severe anaemia with malaria and suspected snake bite, S Gandeselvan, the minister of state in the health ministry said in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Based on the concerns on these deaths, states have been advised by the Centre not to carry out any further vaccinations at present.

The trial—conducted by a US-based voluntary outfit PATH in collaboration with ICMR and health departments of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat—was carried out in Khammam and Vadodara.

CPM MP Brinda Karat alleged that PATH planned to have a similar trial in Uttar Pradesh as well.

Two HPV vaccines Gardasil (manufactured by MSD) and Cervarix (made by GSK) underwent phase III clinical trial by the India unit of both companies before the government permits its sale in India.

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