By Joseph Alexander, New Delhi
Notwithstanding the findings by the expert team about deficiencies in the trials of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, the health Ministry has allowed the ongoing third phase of the clinical trials in India, but without further vaccinations.
Turning down the demand by many public interest groups, the Centre also ruled out bringing in any new legislation that would cover all bio-medical and health research in the light of the findings of the panel.
Sources said the Ministry had studied the final report of the panel that was submitted recently, and allowed the continuation of the third phase trials in accordance with the panel recommendation. The committee had recommended that 3rd phase of operational research could be continued as it would provide useful information and did not involve any further vaccination, sources said.
PATH (Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health), an International NGO, was granted permission to carry out a post licensure (operational research) study of HPV vaccination in 3 blocks each of Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh and Vadodara district of Gujarat, with the permission of State Governments of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. The study utilized both the brands of HPV vaccine available in the market (Gardasil by Merck in Andhra Pradesh and Cervirix by GSK in Gujarat).