The proposal to vaccinate 25 million babies in India annually may prevent 175 deaths from Hib meningitis in 5 years. The lives of 175 children are important. In resource impoverished areas, money spent on vaccinating 25 million babies could be spent on programmes for providing safe water. These programmes will save many hundreds of thousand lives. Leaving such considerations aside, the incidence of invasive Hib disease is low in India which also makes it difficult to justify introducing Hib vaccination. Additionally, the WHO has also been promoting a new form of Hib vaccine which has caused deaths in a large number of children. The WHO vaccine has also increased the price of DPT 30 fold.
A large WHO sponsored study, meticulously done over 2 years (Minz study) found an incidence of Hib meningitis of 7/100000 children under-five. Yet, in a limited experiment with the vaccine in India already 21 have so far died. And last week the Vietnam Government Drug Regulatory authority stopped the new form of vaccine – a Pentavalent vaccine – being used in Vietnam after 9 deaths.
PDF of Commentary from Indian Journal of Medical Research Indian J Med Res 137, April 2013, pp 639-641 proving that this proposal to vaccinate 25 million babies is unwarranted. Jacob Pulivel shows that contrary to the data interpretation by the establishment. which seeks to support the program, the data shows that the Hib antigen was detected only in 8.75 per cent of patients with an abnormal CSF cytology and not 74% or 58% as suggested in the article.
Department of Paediatrics
St Stephens Hospital
Delhi 110 054, India