Times of India
17 April 2010
By Avanindra Mishra
The health department procured over 30,000 swine flu vaccines for immunisation of medical staff a month ago. However, these vaccines are lying unused as doctors are concerned about its side–effects.
Since the number of swine flu cases in the state has declined significantly over the past couple of months, the health officials are finding it tough to convince the staff to volunteer for the vaccine. “We cannot force anyone to take the shot. However, the vaccines have been distributed at the chief health and medical officer’s office,” said O P Gupta, director, public health.
Doctors are apprehensive about the side–effects of swine flu vaccines. However, the health department wants to push through the immunisation process as medical staff are susceptible to infection due to interaction with a large number of patients everyday.
Health officials acknowledged that a delay in the process led to the fall in demand but said the vaccines will come handy as the disease might return in monsoon. “It was a new disease detected last year as there were few studies and scientific research available on the issue. The vaccine could only be released after thorough testing,” adds a senior official at the swine flu control centre at health directorate.