India formulates its first indigenous vaccine against H1N1

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New Delhi, June 4 (ANI): Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad formally launched the country's first indigenously formulated vaccine against H1N1 (Vaxiflu-S) here on Thursday.

The egg based, inactivated vaccine formulated on conventional technology has been conceptualised by the pharmaceutical experts at the laboratories of Cadila Healthcare group.

Cadila Laboratories boast of well equipped Vaccine Technology Centre in Ahmedabad.

Speaking on the occasion, Azad said that ever since WHO declared H1N1 as pandemic, the Health Ministry had taken up the challenge to promote manufacture of the vaccine in the shortest possible time.

"This vaccine is not going, this is the one which we have launched for influenza A H1N1. Around 4.5 lakh vaccines have been produced. The maximum cost (of course, the minimum can be any, I am sure that which each passing day the chairman would be quite generous and make it much cheaper) is not going to be more than rupees 350," said Ghulam Nabi Azad.

He added that the focus was to have a safe and efficacious vaccine in the market as soon as possible. Besides Cadila Healthcare, the Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech and Panacea Biotech would also produce this vaccine.

"This is the first indigenous influenza vaccine produced in our country after independence. Till date we did not have indigenous vaccine for influenza, which is generally flu in our country. But globally it is called as influenza," he said.

The vaccine would be available only on prescription and not just across the counter of any medicine shop.

Everybody except pregnant women and children could take the vaccine as a preventive measures against H1N1 flu. (ANI)

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