Quality of anti-rabies vaccine and serum certified good: Veena George

Among the 2 lakh exposures, almost 85% needed immunoglobulins which makes present style of management costly.

Published: 14th October 2022 06:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th October 2022 06:22 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala Health Minister Veena George

Kerala Health Minister Veena George (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli, has certified that the samples of anti rabies vaccine sent for testing are of standard quality, said Health Minister Veena George. She said the vaccine samples were sent to allay the concerns over the quality of vaccines after five people died of rabies after completing the vaccination. 

Earlier the same lab had certified that the immunoglobulin (serum) used for extra protection of wounds caused due to dog or cat bites, was also safe for use. The state had sent samples of two batches of serum and one batch of vaccine for testing.

At present our management of rabies exposures is by rabies vaccines and immunoglobulins based on severity based on category of exposure. There is no need for concern as both anti rabies vaccine and serum are of standard quality, said the minister. She had written to Union Health Minister Mansukh L Mandaviya to inspect the quality of anti rabies vaccine and serum after concerns were raised by the public and health experts.

According to health department, the number of dog bites alone has increased from 60,000 in 2013 to 1.37 lakh in 2016. It became 2.2 lakh in 2021 and crossed the 2 lakh mark in the first eight months of 2022. The human cost also increased as 21 rabies deaths have been reported this year compared to 11 last year.

The government provides the anti- rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin (serum) free of cost in government hospitals. The demand for serum has grown almost five times in the last five years and eats into the budget meant for other medical purchases.  Among the 2 lakh exposures, almost 85% needed immunoglobulins which makes present style of management costly.



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