The spurt in swine flu cases and the two deaths in July have boosted the sale of vaccines that provide immunity against the H1N1 virus by more than 50%, said druggists.
On Sunday, 10 more cases of swine flu were reported taking the total number to 151 since January. Till June 30, the city had recorded 58 cases; the rest of the 93 cases have been reported in the past three weeks.
“The demand is high. The sale of the trivalent influenza vaccine, which immunises a person against H3N2, H1N1 and influenza B virus, has nearly doubled. In June, we sold around 1,000 vaccines, but this month we have sold 1,500 in three weeks,” said Anil Rajguru, manager, Med-orbit, a Mulund-based wholesaler of medicines and vaccines. “Of these, 400 vaccines were ordered by doctors and hospitals.”
Shop owners said pharmaceutical companies have launched trivalent vaccines in July itself instead of in the winter months. “Paediatricians give children the vaccine so that they develop immunity against flu and H1N1,” said Dr Haresh Shah, chief executive officer, Ishita Pharma, another wholesaler.
Doctors said diagnostic swab testing has also increased. Health officials said more people test positive as the virus is air-borne. “We recommend vaccination for high-risk groups such as elderly, small children and those with chronic ailments,” said Dr Om Shrivastav, infectious diseases expert and member of the state advisory committee for swine flu."There are no government guidelines regarding vaccinations. While doctors and paramedical staff should get vaccinated, otherwise, only those with compromised immunity, diabetics, tuberculosis and pregnant women, should get vaccinated," said Dr Pradip Awate, state epidemiologist, directorate of health services.