Shortage of vaccine may affect JE action plan | india | Hindustan Times
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Shortage of vaccine may affect JE action plan

THOUGH THE Medical Health Department has prepared a revised action plan to check the outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in the eastern UP districts, but unavailability of life-saving vaccine may send the plan in disarray.

india Updated: Dec 31, 2005 01:28 IST

THOUGH THE Medical Health Department has prepared a revised action plan to check the outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in the eastern UP districts, but unavailability of life-saving vaccine may send the plan in disarray.

Around 1.50 crore doses of JE vaccine are required to immunise children in all the districts where outbreak of the disease was reported. But, at present the Health Department has only 2.64 lakh doses though the Union Health and Family Welfare Department assured that the required vaccine would be supplied to immunize the vulnerable children.

“We are keeping our finger crossed,” a Health Department official said. According to the earlier work plan, the immunization drive was to be launched in December, but it is yet to take off.

Talking to Hindustan Times, Director General Medical Health Dr B Nath said, “We have planned to launch the immunization programme with whatever vaccine is available. We hope to get around 4 lakh doses from the Central Research Institute (CRI), Kasauli.”

The Union Government has also planned to increase the capacity of the CRI to 50 lakh doses. The vaccine supplied by the CRI is a traditional one derived from mouse brain. Three doses of this vaccine are given for immunization and protection from the killer virus.

“The Centre is planning to import tissue culture vaccine and one shot of this vaccine is enough for immunization,” Dr Nath said.

She said that the new work plan would be implemented by June end, since the outbreak of the JE was reported in July. “Under the new plan, we have planned to train the medical officers and para-medical staff to handle the JE patients,” Nath said.

“To ensure that people adopt sanitation and take measures to protect themselves from mosquitoes which are carrier of the JE virus, the Health Department has planned to organize behavioural change communication programme.

“Three nodal centers would be established one each at Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Lucknow. An Alert team would be deputed in the districts that would immediately swing into action if the outbreak of JE were reported,” Dr Nath said.

First Published: Dec 31, 2005 01:28 IST