The state government has returned swine flu vaccines to the Centre following the refusal of medical practitioners to take it doubting its effectiveness and possible side effects.
The state government had procured the vaccine from the Centre after the state was hit by H1N1 virus last year.
The Centre placed an order with French drug maker Sanofi Pasteur for 1.5 million doses of H1N1 vaccines in December, mostly to be given to the high-risk group of medical practitioners of which Maharashtra received 34,300.
“The state has returned 9,000 vaccines to the Centre and 5,000 are still kept in reserve for any emergency,” Principal Secretary for Health J.K. Banthia said. There was opposition from doctors and paramedical staff in the government-run hospitals to take the swine flu vaccine. More than 19,000 practitioners have taken the vaccine so far, Banthia said.
Considering the opposition, the state asked the doctors to give in writing that the government would not be held responsible if the person gets swine flu, as he has refused to take the vaccine. Wondering what to do with the stock before it expires in October, the state recently returned the vaccines to the Centre, the offic