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Anti-rabies vaccine to be administered intradermally: Punjab govt

The directorate of health has asked civil surgeons to strictly follow the new guidelines and cite reasons in their monthly reports in case the vaccine is administered using the old technique.

punjab Updated: Mar 07, 2018 15:13 IST
Harpreet Kaur
Harpreet Kaur
Hindustan Times, Hoshiarpur
Anti-rabies vaccine,Punjab,rabies
Last year, under Government of India’s National Rabies Control Programme (NRCP), training was given to nodal officers and paramedical staff of the health department.(Representative image )

To minimise expenditure on anti-rabies treatment, which is provided free of cost to dog bite patients in civil hospitals and secondary health centres, the Punjab government has decided to switch to intradermal administration of rabies vaccine. A circular in this regard has been issued to all civil surgeons.

Presently, the vaccine is largely administered through the intramuscular route, which is expensive. Non-availability of the vaccine in government hospitals forces the patients to go to private clinics, where a single dose costs between Rs 350-400, or opt for home remedies which can be risky.

In the intradermal procedure, the quantity of vaccine used is very low as it requires roughly one fifth of the dosage used otherwise. The intradermal regimen has been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as safe and efficient.

Last year, under Government of India’s National Rabies Control Programme (NRCP), training was given to nodal officers and paramedical staff of the health department. In certain areas, the new technique was started but by and large, the intramuscular method continued to be practised. Sources revealed that a major reason behind the programme remaining a non-starter was due to the shortage of syringes.

“We are waiting for the stock (of syringes) to arrive. As soon as we get the supply, intradermal dosage will be started”, said district epidemiologist Manohar Lal.

The directorate of health has asked civil surgeons to strictly follow the new guidelines and cite reasons in their monthly reports in case the vaccine is administered using the old technique.

First Published: Mar 07, 2018 15:00 IST