The health minister Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad has rejected the reprts that had blamed the pentavalent vaccines as a cause behind the rise in the reported Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) cases all over the country including 8 states (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka and Puducherry) where pentavalent vaccine has been introduced in phased manner. The health minister has mentioned that the increase in reporting is not found to be associated with Pentavalent vaccine use.
"This increase in reported AEFI has been due to strengthening of AEFI monitoring, revision of AEFI guidelines in 2010, dissemination of guidelines, constitution of District & State AEFI committees and regular review of AEFI cases by National AEFI committee. An AEFI secretariat has also been established to strengthen the AEFI monitoring in the country," said Mr Azad.
Pentavalent vaccine is a licensed vaccine. Any drugs including vaccines are licensed and cleared by Drug Controller General of India after examining the safety and efficacy profile of the product.
The health minister stated further, "The Government shall continue to use Pentavalent vaccine as eleven more states ie Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Delhi and Uttarakhand has requested for introduction of Pentavalent vaccine in their state after successful introduction of Pentavalent vaccine in 8 states."