The Easyfive-TT vaccine, following the administering of which a month-and-half-old baby had passed away at the Advanced Paediatrics Centre (APC) of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) last month, has got the clean chit from Central Research Institute, Kasauli.
HT had reported that the vials of the vaccine's particular batch - later withdrawn from all shops on the UT administration's orders - carried two expiry date labels. One said it had already expired in March 2013 before it was administered to the boy born to a woman from Hallomajra, while another said it is to expire in March next year.
Dr Arun Bhardwaj, head of the Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) at the Kasauli institute, confirmed that the vaccine was found fit for administering to children, and that the report has been sent to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on Monday. Sources said the final decision would now be taken by the DCGI.
Doctors had suspected death due to adverse affects of the vaccine as the baby had passed away with 24 hours of vaccination, though the baby's twin brother who was administered the same vaccine is doing fine. Immediately after the death, the UT drug controller had sealed the stock of the vaccine lying at the shop from where it was sold and sent samples for examination.
Easyfive-TT, which is manufactured by Delhi-based firm Panacea Biotec, is a combination of five different vaccines meant for prevention of diseases like hepatitis-B, diphtheria (an upper respiratory tract illness), tetanus, whooping cough and pneumonia. The vaccine had landed in controversy over the same dual labels in Tamil Nadu as well, around a week before the death at the PGIMER. There, too, the drug controller has frozen its sale.
The DCGI has recently clarified to the media that no permission has been given to Panacea Biotec to sell re-labelled vials of the vaccine, but the company has so far not commented on the matter.