Hundreds of children in remote parts of east Uttar Pradesh (UP) are sure to lose their lives to the killer Japanese encephalitis (JE) again, even as the state and central governments squabble and trade charges over the delay in preventive vaccination and the expiry of lakhs of vials which could have saved precious lives.
A preliminary inquiry by the health department has revealed that over 50% of the vaccines sent by the Centre could be defective. Also, the supplies of the preventive vaccination, which should have been completed by March, have come now.
Health department sources said the vaccines sent to UP had already been rejected by the West Bengal government. Vaccines nearing expiry were imported from a Chinese company in an unseemly hurry, the sources said. “A thorough inquiry could expose a big scam,” an official said.
“The Centre is squarely to blame for this failure,” UP’s director general, health, RR Bharti said. He said the state had asked the Centre for 74 lakh vaccines but only 15 lakh had been supplied. “These too have been delayed beyond their time of utility, and a major portion of the stock is unusable,” he added.
Read the rest of the article.