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Indian Health Minister interested to import bird flu vaccine

Following high level meeting between Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss// on measures to be taken for facing a bird flu epidemic in India, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss Tuesday said India would import the Tamiflu vaccine to prevent bird flu in the country. Following earlier directions from WHO to India to step up necessary precautionary measures in India to face if there are any possible flu attack.

Earlier on October 17th Dr. Anbumani said the Ministry had set up a facility to manufacture influenza vaccine and for the production-cum-procurement of anti-viral drugs and he has said that when the need arises we will go in for vaccine preparation in the country but we will have enough stock of medicine and the vaccine could be made at government-manufacturing units such as the Central Research Institute, Kasauli. Now he has said that the vaccine is not available in India and the government is planning to import the vaccines.

Speaking to reporters at the airport here, Ramadoss urged people not to panic over reports about the spread of bird flu and said his ministry was in touch with the ministries of animal husbandry, human resource development and environment to coordinate adequate preventive measures. The health ministry was also in touch with the World Health Organization and the Indian Council for Medical Research to keep a close watch on the situation, he said.

In the earlier meeting he has said that a committee has been constituted to look into the manufacture of Generic drugs for treating avian flu and the Government could cancel patents during emergencies as provided under the law. No reports of generic drugs for avian flu were discussed in his today’s speech.


Medindia on Bird Flu

Avian influenza (AI) or Bird Flu is a disease of viral etiology that ranges from a mild or even asymptomatic infection to an acute, fatal disease of ch ickens, turkeys, guinea fowls, and other avian species, especially migratory waterfowl.

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