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Uttar Pradesh To Prepone The Japanese Encephalitis Immunisation Drive

The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to prepone the Japanese Encephalitis immunisation drive. This has caused displeasure among the health experts in the centre// as they feel that it might not be he right time and the data may need further analysis.

It has been decided that the immunisation campaign scheduled to take place on June 18 is to be undertaken on May 15, 2006 itself. 5.2 million doses of the Chinese made Japanese Encephalitis (tissue culture vaccine), manufactured by the Chengdu Institute of Biological arrive in India, on May 11. Which would mean that the drive would start just three days after their arrival. The remaining 13.5 million doses are likely to be imported by mid-June.

The Uttar Pradesh Government, have announced that they would be going ahead with the campaign in the districts of Gorakpur, Maharajgunj, Dewdia, Kushinagar and half of Lakhinpur Kheri. They also announced that the other six districts are likely to have the drive in June.

Earlier the health ministry had planned to conduct the campaign simultaneously in 11 highly endemic districts, seven in UP, two in Assam, and one each in Karnataka and West Bengal, in June. Officials announced that the Chinese vaccine (SA-14-14-2) was found to be safe and having an efficacy between 88 and 99 per cent on single dose even by the WHO's Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety during its June meeting last year and also from a high-level committee of the Indian Council for Medical Research, but some reports are still awaited.

The expert teams in the Central government and international agencies are not in favour of as they feel that this would mean compromising with some aspects such as training of the ground staff, generation of basic infrastructure such as appropriate cold chain to maintain the vaccine, power back up and mechanism for reporting of any adverse incidents. They felt that any single loophole might lead to doubts over the entire prog
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