The government will introduce an indigenous vaccine for the H1N1 virus that causes swine flu by mid-May, said Sujatha Rao, Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare last week.
"The indigenous vaccine should be out by the middle of May," said Rao on the sidelines of the International Conference on Health Systems Strengthening, being held in Kelambakkam, Tamil Nadu.
The reason for this is that there may be new cases or incidence of H1N1 virus, Rao said.
"We’re expecting another one in September. We’re going to be prepared. We don’t want to be taken by surprise. We got away easy this time. It was a mild form of flu," she said.
The indigenous vaccine has already been sent to health workers "to inoculate their own frontline workers." The government is "advising" health care workers "to take the injection" for their own protection, she said adding that the government is monitoring the situation carefully.
As of March 28 this year, 1,443 people died in India because of swine flu, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Globally, swine flu has caused 18,001 deaths as of May 2 this year, according to the World Health Organisation.