India's National Vaccine Policy, released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare last year, aim to bring to light the importance of the vaccine industry and the need for active public sector units (PSUs) to be "revived" and made more competitive.Â The policy intends “to develop a long-term plan to strengthen the whole vaccine program and intends to provide broader policy guidelines and framework to guide the creation of evidence base to justify the need for R&D, production, procurement, and quality assessment of vaccines for the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) in India”.
In the past year, however, industry experts have been dragging their feet in actually putting together a plan to put these guidelines into practice.Â Mr KV Balasubramaniam, MD, Indian Immunologicals, Hyderabad, accepts the policy, but says "having a policy in place is not enough. What we need first is an immunization policy that states policies and priorities with respect to immunization in India to meet the preventive health challenges where vaccines are just one part. My stress is equally on priorities along with policies. How do we reduce the unacceptably high level of AEFIs, adverse events following vaccination? These issues need to be addressed too.”
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Are you involved? What do you think about the policy? Do you think a plan will be put together quickly?