Pentavalent vaccines will now be used in 11 more states in India after the demand from them, the health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad stated.
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, the health minister also said that there has been rise in the reported adverse events following immunization (AEFI) cases all over the country, including eight states where Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in phased manner.
Advertisement"The increase in reporting is not found to be associated with Pentavalent vaccine use," he said.
"The government shall continue to use Pentavalent vaccine in 11 more states - Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Delhi and Uttarakhand," Azad added.
He said these states have requested for the introduction of Pentavalent vaccine in their state after successful introduction of the vaccine in eight states.
The states where the vaccine is being used are Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka and Puducherry.
Pentavalent vaccine is a conjugate vaccine which combines antigens against five infections - diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT), hepatitis B and Hib - in a shot.
The vaccine was rolled out as part of introducing a vaccination against Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) infection - a major cause of meningitis and pneumonia deaths in children - in the national immunisation schedule for infants.
There have been some infant deaths in some states after Pentavalent vaccines. The government after safety and efficacy study found the vaccine to be safe.
Azad said the increase in reported adverse cases has been due to strengthening of the monitoring system, revision of the guidelines, dissemination of guidelines, constitution of district and state committees and regular review of all theses cases by the National AEFI committee.
Pentavalent vaccine is a licensed vaccine, Azad said, adding that any drugs including vaccines are licensed and cleared by Drug Controller General of India after examining the safety and efficacy profile of the product.