By: Norma Erickson, Vaccines Examiner
08 April 2010
Yesterday, V.M. Katoch, Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research, called a halt to an HPV vaccination ‘project’ being conducted in two rural Indian states, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. This ‘project’ was conducted by PATH International, in collaboration with the ICMR and the two respective state goverments and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to The Hindu Press.
An arrangement had been made for Merck and GlaxoSmithKline to provide the HPV vaccines (Gardasil and Cervarix) for the ‘project,’ Initially, this ‘project’ was to involve the vaccination of 32,000 Indian girls. Only 14,000 children received the shots at the time the ‘project’ abruptly ended.
58 public health organizations, health networks, medical professionals, human rights groups, and women’s groups raised some very serious moral and ethical concerns regarding the methods incorporated during this HPV vaccination ‘project’ when 4 unexplained deaths prompted them to conduct a personal fact finding mission.