SC asks Kerala govt to maintain quality of anti-rabies vaccine

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) The Supreme Court has told the Kerala government to take adequate measures to ensure that the quality of the anti-rabies vaccine is maintained.

A bench comprising Justices S B Sinha and Harjit Singh Bedi while dismissing an appeal against the judgement of Kerala high court noted, ''We, however, dismiss the appeal with the observations that the state government shall take adequate measures to ensure that the quality of anti-rabies vaccine, which is the only preventive in a case of a bite fron a rabied animal, is maintained.'' The state of Kerala had purchased anti-rabies vaccine for various government hospitals in the state in 2002-03 from 'M/S Human Biological Institute' at the rate of Rs 148 per vial.

Some government hospitals reported that the vaccine was causing reaction in patients and one of them died on December 9, 2002.

The Director, Health Service Kerala directed the purchase officer to freeze the utilisation of the vaccine until further orders.

The drug controller also sent a sample of the vaccine for analysis to the Central Research Institute, Kasauli for examination after the death of Ramachandran who was administered the vaccine.

The enquiry revealed that the reactions were caused because the vaccine was not stored in a proper way.

The state government continued to purchase the vaccine from the same company.

A writ petition was filed in the High Court under the garb of PIL which was dismissed.

The apex court also dismissed the appeal of MP Ayyappan Kutty.

The apex court, however, took note of the fact that subsequent inquiries that identified death of Ramachandran was on account of clinical rabies and not because of the adverse reaction of the vaccine.

The central government also supported the decision of the Kerala government.


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