this is good news to all the living beings,as In a major scientific advancement, India on Thursday unveiled its first-ever indigenous vaccine against H1N1 influenza virus, with health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad taking the shot in full public view.
Created by Zydus Cadilla from an H1N1 strain given by WHO, the single-shot vaccine called Vaxiflu-S will cost a maximum of Rs 350.
H1N1 swine flu has killed more than 18,000 people and affected some 214 countries since the virus emerged in Mexico and the US in April 2009. In India, over 1,500 have died.
Calling the vaccine a "remarkable feat in service of the nation", Azad said, "Till date, India didn’t have its own influenza vaccine. H1N1 swine flu pandemic made us realise that we can’t depend on importing influenza vaccines taking India’s sheer vastness and population into consideration. Scientists therefore created the country’s very own vaccine against influenza."
Cadilla is ready with 4.5 lakh doses of the vaccine but it will only be given by chemists against prescription. "It will not be an over the counter drug and will be available with chemists from tomorrow," Azad said.
However, Cadilla’s vaccine has some limitations as of now. It can only be used by people aged between 18-60 and can’t be used on small children or pregnant women who are believed to be at high risk of getting infected.
The vaccine, with a shelf life of a year from date of manufacture, will provide protection only for one year. Also, the inactivated vaccine is egg-based and cannot be used by those allergic to eggs.
However, the vaccine has been found to be effective and safe with minor side-effects like pain in the area of administration.