[SaneVax: Unlike other national policies in India, the National Vaccine Policy was not part of the public domain until completed. Critics say the policy, written in secrecy with substantial foreign input, provides no scientific basis to exhibit need, suitability, safety, efficacy, or cost-benefit ratio. One has to ask, "Are India's national health authorities concerned about public health and safety, or marketing the latest vaccines?"]
National Vaccine Policy comes in for severe criticism from experts
By Ramesh Shankar, Mumbai
The National Vaccine Policy, announced by the Union health ministry last year, has come in for severe criticism from experts. They have termed that the government has fallen trap to the same ‘global’ slogans of the World Bank that has pushed the world into recession and the aid politics of Gates Foundation, WHO and Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).
In an article in ‘Current Science’, Dr N Raghuram, associate professor, School of Biotechnology, GGS Indraprastha University, New Delhi and Dr Y Madhavi, NISTADS, Pusa, New Delhi have said that the government policy pays lip service to several important issues such as criteria for new vaccine introduction into UIP, including the Grades of Recommendation Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system, strengthening the surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPD) and Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI), operational efficiency, etc.
“Clearly, this vaccine policy is not designed to enhance national public capacities for public immunization programmes, but to justify spending public money on privately produced vaccines in the name of protection from diseases, whose incidence figures and public health statistics are dubious and industry-manufactured. In its eagerness to push vaccines, this policy completely missed the very idea of selective immunization and implies that all immunization is universal,” the article says.