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Swine flu vaccine nearing devp
Published on 3 Jan. 2010 12:43 AM IST
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India is close to developing a vaccine to prevent swine flu and it should be ready by March or April, a senior health official said Saturday. “We are close to developing effective vaccines to contain swine flu. One company has already begun testing on humans, while two other companies have concluded trials on animals. Definitely in March, by April-end 100 percent, we should have the vaccines,” Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief and secretary, health research V.M. Katoch told IANS. “It has been our strategy from the very beginning to develop our own capabilities and to strengthen our own indigenous drug industry. Once the vaccines come, we could even think of marketing them globally,” he said. Diagnostic kits, developed indigenously, will also be available soon, Katoch said, adding once they are available in the market, the cost of treatment will come down. Katoch said swine flu should abate within one year and advised early treatment as soon as the symptoms appear. “Early treatment after classical flu symptoms is advisable and the dose should be full. We are lucky to have a very effective medicine available with us. But we have deliberately restricted its availability to ensure people do not take the drug out of fear and panic, otherwise the virus will become resistant and then we will be handicapped,” he pointed out. Seven more people have died of influenza A (H1N1) in India, taking the toll due to the swine flu pandemic in the country so far to 974, an official statement said here today.

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