The expert panel on the pentavalent or five-in-one vaccine, which was also given the mandate by the Union Health Ministry to go into the issue of vaccine production potential for new combination vaccines, has recommended to the government to encourage public sector investments in combination vaccines to ensure affordability and vaccine security for the masses in the country.
The panel, headed by professor MK Bhan, secretary, department of biotechnology (DBT), in its recommendation to the Union Health Ministry said, “Encourage public sector investment in combination vaccines (Quadrivalent + Hib separately; or pentavalent) to ensure affordability and vaccine security for the masses. It is necessary to ensure quality of vaccines. Among existing vaccines, for DPT and Hep B, it is relatively easy to monitor good quality, because antibody is a good marker of protection. For other vaccines, government may consider commissioning specific institutes with expertise to standardize given vaccine.