According to Dainik Bhaskar, the Government of India has decided to introduce pentavalent vaccines nationwide. This just might mark the beginning of the end of one of the oddest sagas in Indian public health. The five-in-one vaccine (which adds protection against hepatitis B and Hib pneumonia to the standard DTP vaccines) is used around the world and much of it is made in India but, thus far, its use within the country has been limited to a few states. Thus, children in North Korea were protected against diseases still killing children in India. Odder still, the DPRK children are safeguarded by a vaccine made in Maharashtra. A furious campaign against the penta vaccine by anti-immunisation campaigners has attracted rumours and counter-rumours about the interests of state-owned manufacturers and others becoming tied up with the campaign. The question unanswered by the article is how fast the introduction will come. After all, government has also pledged to eliminate hunger in India
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