The Indian Ministry of Health is in search of a new cheaper tissue culture vaccine for Japanese encephalitis. So far the Gorakhpur Government has reported 200 deaths and 700 patients with infection. Hundreds of people are infected and die every year due to the endemic infection of Encephalitis in Uttar Pradesh. This year the death toll touched 228 in Gorakhpur, with 67 patients were admitted in the Government College Hospital in the last 24 hours, in which 12 persons died.
The health ministry is looking out for cheaper tissue culture encephalitis vaccine, which is produced by China and Korea which is an alternative to expensive mouse brain vaccine, which is produced by Central Research Institute, (CRI) in India. ''The Drug Controller General of India is taking a view on the matter. The permission can be granted only after analyzing the safety and efficacy data supplied by the countries,'' said Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. According to the Health ministry, the CRI has increased the production of vaccine from 5 lakhs units to 10 lakhs this year. The vaccine requires 3 doses of primary immunization, in which two doses are administered in between 7 to 14 days. The third dose is given after a month and before one year of the second dose. The vaccine requires booster dosage every three years. ''We don't want to say the areas are endemic and then forget about them. We will make sure the outbreak doesn't happen next year,'' the Minister added.
The result from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program reports the annual incidence of 1765 to 3428 cases every year. The report from the study shows that every year 466 to 707 patients die. During 2003, more than 1000 children's died of Japanese Encephalitis. In the past 10 years, the disease has spread to 15 States.