Punjab seeks ban on anti-rabies vaccine | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Punjab seeks ban on anti-rabies vaccine

punjab Updated: Mar 07, 2014 22:18 IST
Jatinder Kohli
Jatinder Kohli
Hindustan Times
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Two days after the death of a 10-year-old Ankit Kumar at the civil hospital in Samana, the state drug controller authority has shot a letter to the drug controller general of India (DCGI), urging it to immediately stop the use of anti-rabies vaccine in the country.

A copy of the letter has been sent to all civil surgeons into the state, with an instruction to discontinue the use of the vaccine in the wake of this recent tragedy.

The vaccine, AbhyaRab, has been manufactured by the Human Biological Institute, Tamil Nadu, which has supplied it to the entire state.

The vaccine is available at all government hospitals in the state. However, with its quality coming under cloud now, the use of the vaccine has been suspended with immediate effect.

Apart from civil surgeons, the copy of this letter has also been sent to the manufacturing company, director of drug controller of
Tamil Nadu, deputy drug controller of India, Ghaziabad on Friday by the state drug controlling.

Victim Ankit, who was a student of Class-5, died while four others were fallen ill after they were administered the anti-rabies vaccines at the civil hospital in Samana on March 5. All the victims were given anti-rabies injections after which they complained of drowsiness and nausea.

Following the death of Ankit, Patiala drug controller visited the Samana civil hospital and took samples of the vaccine. The samples were later sent to the Central Research Laboratory at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh for testing its quality.

The health officials who visited the Rajindra Hospital in Patiala, where four other victims were admitted, had stated that prima facie it seems to be a case of drug reaction that occurred after anti-rabies injections were administered to the victims.

Soon after receiving the letter from the state drug controller authorities, the pharmacists and doctors in the local civil hospital
have been instructed not to administer the vaccine to anyone.

Hospital officials said that around 30 anti-rabies injections were administered to dog-bite victims daily in the hospital free of cost.

The patients, who were bitten by jackals, monkeys, foxes, cats, rats and bats are given rabies vaccine. If the course is not started in time, a patient can suffer a painful death within 48-72 hours of the bite.

State drug controller Ajay Singla said, "We have informed DGGI and urged it to ensure steps to stop use of the vaccine. Also, civil surgeons have been instructed not to administer vaccines to anyone into the state till the final report of the samples comes".