No H1N1 vaccine contracts for India

Some are questioning India's response to the swine flu pandemic. While many countries have been buying up vaccines before they have even been produced, Indian officials continue to watch from the sidelines, the Times of India reports. "Indian health authorities have failed to move fast enough," according to the publication.

The Indian government has not signed a single contract for swine flu vaccines with foreign or domestic manufacturers, which include Serum Institute, Panacea Biotec, Bharat Biotech and Cadila Pharma (which is developing a vaccine in collaboration with Rockville, MD-based Novavax).  ‘‘No talks have been held with procurement agencies regarding their plans of stockpiling the vaccine, including the quantity required and target group of population," Serum Institute executive director SS Jadhav told the Times of India. As a result, Indian manufacturers are unsure of the amount of vaccine they should produce.

‘‘We have asked global companies like Novartis to include Indians in their clinical trials to test efficacy of the vaccine on our population. We are waiting for their reply," said Dr. Vishwa Mohan Katoch, secretary of India's department of health research.

- here's the TOI article

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