India's first free immunization drive against cervical cancer has run into political trouble after Assam's main opposition party questioned the effectiveness of the vaccination.
The state's health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had early this week revealed that the vaccination drive aims to provide free immunization to more than 100,000 girls across the state adding that the cost of the vaccination drive will be over Rs 60 crore.
However Assam's main opposition party, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has criticized the decision to conduct the drive and expressed skepticism that immunization would be effective in preventing the spread of cervical cancer, a claim rejected by independent health experts.
"We think the campaign is being done in haste. We need to know if any expert health committee has cleared or recommended the project being introduced. Moreover, since a large amount of public money is involved, we need to know if at all the vaccine will yield effective results", senior AGP leader Bijon Mahajan said.