The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT B) has begun a swine flu drive with the institute providing Nasovac, the nasal spray vaccine, at subsidised costs for campus residents.
Already more than 1,200 people, including faculty, students and workers, have been vaccinated.
Though voluntary, the drive has received an overwhelming response and the institute has extended it to from July 30 to August 6.
Last year, there was one case of swine flu detected on campus. This year, too, one case has been detected. There are 15,000 residents on campus.
“Once the vaccine was available, we decided that it is a good preventive measure and so we procured it directly from the company,” said Dr N Shah, the chief medical officer at IITB. “The administrative costs are borne by the institute, only the vaccine is charged for.”
The vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, was launched three weeks ago. While the cost of a vial (containing five doses) is Rs 790 and a single dose costs about Rs 160, IIT-B provides it for Rs 130 a dose.
Each dose (0.5 ml) of the vaccine has to be sprayed equally in both nostrils by a medical practitioner.
Students are glad that they have the facility on campus. “We got an E-mail from the dean telling us about the vaccine and it seemed like a good idea,” said Akhilesh Bakshi, a fourth year student.
“The treatment and test for swine flu is far more expensive, so this is a better option,” he added.
“We have had a few malaria cases too but they were detected early and treated. If required, patients were referred to outside hospitals for intensive care,” said Dr Shah.