India to develop swine flu vaccine by early next year: Azad

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Bangalore, Dec 26 (ANI): Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that India would develop the swine flu vaccine by early next year after completion of animal and human trials.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function here on Friday, Azad said: "The big animal trial is complete and now human trial will start from January, which will take two months. We didn't want to do human trial on one or two persons rather we will do human trial on few hundreds. Besides this, we would also do human trial on zone basis like south and north as our population has different climatic adoptions...I think by the end of February or by the first week of March we will be through with human trial and I am sure by the end of March or by the first week of April it (vaccine) should be available in the market."

Three major pharmaceutical concerns, - Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech and Panacea Biotech - are working on developing the vaccine.

More than 800 persons have succumbed to this deadly virus in India and around 24,500 people have tested positive for the H1N1 virus, which was first detected in southern Hyderabad city in May.

Maharashtra and Karnataka were the worst affected states of the country. At least 249 people have died in Maharashtra while the virus has claimed 128 lives in Karnataka.

National capital New Delhi is worst affected in terms of number of infected people, where 8,751 people have tested positive for H1N1. (ANI)

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