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Stop unnecessary vaccination: eminent doctors, scientists to the PM

There have been 76 deaths till August 2014 from Pentavalent vaccination. This is unacceptable and the PMO must intervene and stop this unwarranted vaccination, instead of promoting it, says a letter sent by a group of academicians, practitioners and teachers of pediatrics and public health

 

Several eminent doctors and scientists have requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi's immediate intervention to stop unwarranted vaccination in public interest.

 

Highlighting the recent deaths of young children following Pentavalent vaccination (76 deaths till August 2014), the letter sent to the PM says, "We request this note from us may please be taken on record since the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has itself been involved in pronouncements of vaccine initiatives in the past few months. We feel it is our responsibility to place these scientific facts before the PMO so that it is aware of the facts and so that urgent and appropriate action may be initiated by you to direct the Ministry of Health to act in public interest and in accordance with basic precautionary principles. We hope we will receive an action taken report in the next two weeks".

The letter is signed by Prof Dr BM Hegde, former Vice Chancellor of Manipal University, Dr Vikas Bajpai from the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Prof Amitav Banerjee, Professor for Community Medicine at Dr DY Patil Medical College, Dr JP Dadhich, Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Arun Gupta, Paediatrician and Member of the PM's Council on India's Nutrition Challenges, Prof SK Mittal, former Professor of Pediatrics, MAMC and Head of Paediatrics at Pushapanjali Crosslay Hospital, Prof Ritu Priya, Prof at Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Dr Jacon Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, Prof S Srinivasan, former Director-Professor of Pediatrics, JIPMER and Prof KP Kushwaha, Principal and Dean of BRD Medical College.

"Expensive vaccines that have little utility are being rolled out without monitoring benefits or harms and which are causing deaths and serious adverse effects. As a result, in spite of official attempts at denial, the public are losing trust in the entire immunization programme. We, a group of academicians, practitioners and teachers of pediatrics and public health would like to draw your attention to the pattern of adverse events and deaths from the newly introduced Pentavalent Vaccine (DPT+ Hib + Hep B vaccine) which is proposed to be rolled out nationwide as a government policy," the letter says.

Alleging global pressure to roll out vaccination drives, the letter says, "We are aware that there is global pressure from international organisations and donors. These very international organisations have ensured that even the protocol used to investigate the deaths have now been changed so the deaths can be ignored."      


According to the letter, every few days one more child dies after receiving the Pentavalent vaccine.  


The Deccan Herald of 22 August 2014 reported two more deaths from Haryana with the Pentavalent vaccine. Last week it was a death in Ujjain. Today’s newspaper (Nai Dunia, Indore) reports a death in Shivpuri (MP). Yet as these deaths mount, it has been announced that Pentavalent vaccine is to be introduced in three more states. Already as per RTI reply there have been 76 deaths in India till August 2014 from Pentavalent adverse events following immunization (AEFI).
 
It says vaccines are a public health measure to prevent serious disease and deaths. That is how a common man perceives the role of a vaccine. Therefore, deaths in healthy children from vaccines are not acceptable. These deaths have become so frequent that in Tamil Nadu, in spite of official denials, people have stopped going for vaccination and the immunization uptake has fallen by 25% in the last 4 years. According to the District Level Household Survey – DLHS 4: 2012-13 (https://nrhm-mis.nic.in/SitePages/DLHS-4.aspx) immunization coverage across districts in Tamil Nadu, with over 85% full immunization (DLHS–3:2007-08) has fallen to 56%. At the same time, a study on Hepatitis B vaccine (now included in the Pentavalent vaccine) published in the latest issue of the journal of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics – Indian Pediatrics shows the vaccine does not protect babies from infection, it added.

Here is the letter sent to the PMO...

 


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COMMENTS

Dr. Rakesh Goyal

2 years ago

This is published in NY Times -
‘Superbugs’ Kill India’s Babies and Pose an Overseas Threat

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/world/...

From the article -

These infants are born with bacterial infections that are resistant to most known antibiotics, and more than 58,000 died last year as a result, a recent study found.

Simple Indian

2 years ago

with the Medical Council of India (MCI) itself mired in various controversies, it can hardly be expected to take a bold decision in this matter. Besides, the record of self-regulating institutions in India is abysmal, to say the least. Malpractices and unethical practices by doctors has made medical practice lose its once revered status. Like teachers, doctors commanded respect but thanks to commercial considerations overshadowing their professional ethics/commitments, both these professions have become extremely business-oriented, rather than service-oriented.

Deepak Mahulkar

2 years ago

The reason for death perticularly in malnurished society is due to many reasons. Is it proved with lot of research that death reported above are due to preventive medicines?

Narendra Doshi

2 years ago

Wish a speedy fully evaluated decision soon for India specially. Good luck team Prof Hegde

Peter Menon

2 years ago

76 deaths is 76 deaths too many. Nonetheless a pertinent question. Does anyone know exactly how many infants have undergone vaccination ? Another question - is there any conclusive proof that the vaccinations caused the deaths? Yet another question - do we know how much sickness and death is prevented by Vaccinations?

Surely till we know the answers to these questions it would be impetuous to conclude that vaccinations are bad and need to be stopped.

M S Prabhakar

2 years ago

It's very important that we:

1. Believe in evidence-based medicine (EVM) and hard facts;

2. Don't believe in dangerous half-truths and total nonsense.

It's all the more important because innocent, voiceless children are involved.

UNICEF/ WHO has researched extensively on this controversy and has published an excellent booklet for common folks (Download from: http://www.searo.who.int/india/topics/ro... )

REPLY

Jagannath Chatterjee

In Reply to M S Prabhakar 2 years ago

Are the WHO and UNICEF free from conflict of interest? If they were vaccines would have been discontinued ages ago.

M S Prabhakar

In Reply to Jagannath Chatterjee 2 years ago

Why do you ask me if WHO and UNICEF are free from conflict of interest? I don't represent them. India is a permanent member of the UN and according to information available from UN secretariat (see http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp... ), India's 2014 share of UN general budget is $18.8+ Million, which, as you know is paid by taxpayers like me. In return, we get services like the one I've cited in my original comment. As an ordinary Indian, I expect these studies to be unbiased and free from conflicts of interest. If you have reason to believe that WHO and UNICEF studies are biased with undisclosed conflicts of interest, it's a big scandal. You need to place the facts (undisclosed conflicts of interest) in public domain. Don't throw isolated pieces of research data that suit a particular hypothesis. Evidence-Based Medicine is based on modern science, probability, stochastics and statistics and is the best healthcare tool available since the evolution of modern western medicine.

Jagannath Chatterjee

In Reply to M S Prabhakar 2 years ago

Here is a link to my article on 'polio eradication' in India. As a group we are yet to get definitive answers from the WHO and UNICEF. And please let us stop talking about evidence based medicine in this era of large scale data and disclosure corruption. http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/in...

Notoevms Admin

2 years ago

Please see links in http://vran.org/health-risks/ (Vaccine Risk Awareness Network) for information on vaccine risks

Vijayabhaskar Pulla

2 years ago

How many deaths have been investigated to establish deaths of every infant thoroughly? It is also observed HiB reduced the incidence of pneumonia drastically atlas in UK from my practice i can say and there is evidence for it. The SIDS is well known cause of death unfortunately there is no cause we can find at least they must have been investigated by post mortem and thorough investigation to conclude the cause as vaccination. It would be dangerous to blame vaccinations when we have data from all over the world and scaring people about vaccination and thus bringing down the uptake. Remember the vaccination and autism scare with MMR which led to rise in measles because of the reduced uptake which was proved otherwise. The only way we can say whether it harmful or not is by thorough research to prove conclusively and research peer reviewed to conclude on recommending non usage.

REPLY

Jagannath Chatterjee

In Reply to Vijayabhaskar Pulla 2 years ago

It is strange that you cite the vaccine-autism link to champion the cause of vaccines. Dr Wakefield's findings in the form of a case study has been confirmed by more than 30 studies (including one in Pediatrics). The London based tabloid newspaper that instigated the case against Wakefield has subsequently been embroiled in a well publicized scandal and has been closed down. It is also well known now that the case against Wakefield was a pharma-politician killing to save the skins of prominent politicians. Subsequently ALL the CDC major studies disproving the vaccine-autism link have been exposed to be shams. People advocating vaccines have a lot of explaining to do and must be held accountable for their irresponsible behaviour and for harm to countless children all over the globe.

Good Doctors for Indian Villages

Training good doctors must begin ground up

 

The usual complaint from politicians is that doctors are reluctant to go to villages to serve the rural population. Politicians try and devise quick-fix measures, some of which appear draconian. Yet, nothing seems to work in the long run. Today’s MBBS courses do not train a doctor in good bedside medicine, to practise in villages where diagnosis cannot be left to technology and tests. Their training is technology-focused and diagnostics-dependent; as such, it cannot be extrapolated to a village setting.

 

Scientific studies show that 80% of accurate diagnosis can be made by simply listening carefully to the patient and physically examining him/her. This message does not get through amidst the cacophony of the technological claptrap. Today’s doctors cannot diagnose a brain attack without MRIs and CAT scans. Even a simple tension headache needs a CAT scan to rule out early cancer! Healing outcomes were much better before any of these gadgets were invented. The obsession with tests and reports is more to save the doctor’s skin in this era of consumerist action.

 

Today’s MBBS courses are top heavy with theoretical information, cramming information for exams, and little hands-on bedside experience. Except during the end of the year examinations, students rarely spend enough time at patients’ bedsides. Doctors-in-training have little time in the midst of ever increasing specialities and the race to get their nose into graduate teaching and evaluation. We need a completely revamped course, much shorter than the present-day MBBS course, with more stress on bedside diagnosis. The filtered lot of terminally-ill patients in the teaching hospital ward setting, gives the student a distorted version of disease incidence and prevalence in society.

 

The course could be three-year long, with anatomy being taught in the first three months and alternate medical systems’ knowledge being taught in the final three months, along with medicine, surgery and midwifery. The evaluation system should be an on-going process without the need for end of the year exams, except in the final year where the student appears for an all-India test.

 

We can even relax the entry criteria. Admissions need not be based on the marks obtained in the entrance test, but on a well-devised aptitude test, with pass marks in the so-called 10+2 level as the cut-off. We should foster a culture of the intern ‘following in the footsteps’ of his mentor, in the true sense of the phrase. On successful completion of the internship, the young graduate must be made to serve in a village for five years, before qualifying to go for a one-year condensed MBBS course.

 

Nowadays, students also avoid the vital internship year during which they are supposed to have hands-on bedside experience. Post-graduation should depend not on the marks obtained in the final examination, but on the number of years of village service—the longer the better. The condensed MBBS course should be devised to fill the gaps in their initial degree course. This will ensure that we have a steady supply of good, humane, clinically trained doctors for our villages. The present public health centres (PHCs) could be closed to make room for village schools as the centre of village health.

 

The two new ideas, in tandem, will ensure that every Indian village is adequately covered for sickness and healthcare. On each of the topics discussed here, I have been writing exhaustively for years; these are available in books and articles all over the world. These ideas could be modified, depending on local needs. We must move fast in this direction; otherwise, our Western-oriented medical training will produce second-grade doctors for Western hospitals and not for our masses in far-flung villages.

 

This approach is also fair to the new doctors, since all of them would get an opportunity to go up the ladder, if they do well. In addition, this will deter young doctors from trying to get their post-graduate (PG) degrees without any hands-on experience, immediately after MBBS which only makes them good technologists and very poor doctors. We could then easily abolish the burden of huge amounts of black money changing hands under the table, for PG seats, ranging from Rs2 crore to Rs4 crore per seat, depending on the subject.

 

(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS.)

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COMMENTS

vinayak mahajan

2 years ago

why should doctors only do rural service? government is spending more money on engineering, particularly on IITs, after 4 years of engineering they fly abroad not even thinking about country and thinking that it's a birth right to serve MNCs. Make a rule that every engineer should work first in government offices, then only they can do private or Govt jobs. Now a days it has become a fashion (including film stars and leaders) saying that doctors only have social responsibilities and to maintain moral values, ethics etc. An idiotic leader takes one rupee salary per month and maintains a Benz car, another stupid star takes crores for one episode and comments on DOCTORS professional services. Lets demand that every charted accountant should work in government banks and audit department, every engineer should work in government engineering offices, every lawyer should work in courts for one year before they were given their degrees.... WE HAVE LOT OF BACKLOG OF CASES.. Why only doctors?????

Mahesh Kumar Tennati

2 years ago

Dr. Hegde, Great suggestions. May be you should directly write to PM with all your suggestions, at the following url
http://pmindia.gov.in/en/

'No more, no less, buy the exact quantity you paid for'
IG Sanjay Pandey, who is Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures), says, a short delivery, excess demand and overpricing are considered offences against the society and lead to penalties if consumers file a complaint
 
If consumer gets short delivery of the commodity or thing than it is paid for or contracted for, similarly in the services also, it amounts to an offence. However, not many consumers know about remedies available to them to get justice. Such consumers can easily file a complaint before the Legal Metrology Organization (weights and measures).
 
 
Speaking at a seminar organised by Moneylife Foundation in Mumbai, Inspector General (IG) Sanjay Pandey, who is Controller of the Legal Metrology Organization, said, "Due to improved lifestyle of the people, consumer protection movement is now going on in an aggressive manner. Therefore, it is not only just and fair to enforce the provisions strictly but is absolutely essential to enforce the provisions of the Acts and Rules in the interest of common consumers."
 
"We are looking into three areas. One is how builders sell property on square foot basis and how registrars are registering it on sq ft basis. Second is defining call duration standards for telecom companies. How these companies measure the second? It is certified by the authorised government agency. Third area is digital measurement. How the companies are selling GB or MB and who and how it is certified? Soon you will see some action in these areas," he added.  
 
The main role of the Organization is to protect the consumers' interest by surprise visits or inspections at Traders premises, packers, importers, packaging units and industries to verify the accuracy of weights and measures as well as to check the net contents effected by them. A short delivery, excess demand and overpricing are offences against the society. The legal metrology organization keeps a strict vigil on the offenders and enforces the provisions of law by firm hands.
 
 
Deterrent penal provisions are prescribed for errant traders and other persons under the Legal Metrology Act. Such offenders are brought to book and punished accordingly. There is a provision in the Act to compound prosecution cases at the department level if the offender has committed the said offence for the first time. Under such circumstances the Authorities impose compounding fees upon the offender and the matter is settled at the department level. However, if the option is not exercised by the offender to get it compounded at the department level, then the case is sent to the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC)/Metropolitan Court and then it attracts the provision of Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.) as it is treated as criminal case.
 
According to Mr Pandey, even builders who are selling properties using square feet instead of metres for measurement can be booked under the Act. "This is because, in 1956, the Indian government passed a Standards of Weights and Measures system to introduce metric system based on Punjab Act. The metric system began in October 1958, making metric weight mandatory by October 1960, and the metric measures mandatory by April 1962 banning all other systems."
 
"Puranik Builders published an advertisement that promised 45 sq feet free. We then issued a notice to them. Now the advertisement says 45 smiles instead of 45 sq feet. But let me make it clear again that no builder can sell property on square foot basis as it is illegal. Under the metric system it can be sold only on square metre basis. We have written to MHADA and are gathering more information on this," he added.
 
While buying any pre-packaged commodity, Mr Pandey said, consumers need to check mandatory declarations. This includes...
a) Name and address of the manufacturer or packer or importer.
b) Generic name of the commodity.
c) Net quantity in terms of standard units of weight or measure or number.
d) Month and year in which a commodity is manufactured or packed or imported.
e) Retail sale price of package in the form of maximum retail price inclusive of all taxes or in the form of MRP Rs...... inclusive of all taxes.
f) For complaint redressal, every package shall have name, address, telephone number and email if available, of the person of the company. 
 
Several times, consumers are charged more than the MRP of a product. Many times, there is an alteration in the MRP printed on the package. Under the Act, both sale of packaged commodity more than the MRP printed (overpricing) and alteration in the MRP printed are offenses, said Mr Pandey. "Even MRP printed without mentioning 'inclusive of all taxes' amounts to an offence and consumers approach our department for all these violations. We will immediately initiate appropriate action," he added.
 
According to Mr Pandey, to avoid the legal scanner, many packaged water suppliers are selling bottles with higher MRP printed to 5-star hotels and malls. Sometimes, they even use a separate brand name for these water bottles, which are sold only at these places. “Since they sell at MRP, we cannot initiate any action. However, if they charge more than the MRP printed, we can certainly initiate an action against them,” the chief of Legal Metrology Organization added.
 
Earlier in October and also in this month, the Organisation, headed by Mr Pandey conducted several raids on companies, dealers and owners of CNG and LPG filling stations. It was found that over 20 CNG and LPG filling operators across Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, never bothered to use the dispensers (regular pumps) approved by the government.
 
“Our department realised that the dispensers used by these owners and dealers were not fit enough to serve the consumers and they could possibly swindle them. Hence, we decided to conduct surprise checks and the results were surprising. Our department has seized 20 dispensers and disciplinary process has been initiated against the dealers in the court of law,” Mr Pandey had said at that time.
 
The Legal Metrology Organisation was launched on 6 June 2007 by former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to protect the consumers’ interest by surprise visits or inspections at the traders’ premises, packers, importers, packaging units and industries to verify the accuracy of weights and measures as well as to check the net contents supplied by them. 
 
Indian weights and measures (From Wikipedia)
 
Before the introduction of the Metric system, one may divide the history of Indian systems of measurement into three main periods: the pre-Akbar's period, the period of the Akbar system, and the British colonial period.
 
During pre-Akbar period, weights and measure system varied from region to region, commodity to commodity, and rural to urban areas. The weights were based on the weight of various seeds (specially the wheat berry and Ratti) and lengths were based on the length of arms and width of fingers. Akbar realized a need for a uniform system. He elected the barley corn. Unfortunately, this did not replace the existing system. Instead, it just added another system.
 
British entered India as traders. They accepted barleycorn as a unit 'grain' for weighing gold. They minted coins using wheat berry as the standard. Eventually, British introduced their own system for weighing gold (Troy ounce), commodities (Pound/Cwt/Ton). Now, the roads had Furlong and Mile markers. In 1939, Government of India passed the Standards of Weights Act that came into effect in 1942. This allowed Tola/Seer/Maund system to coexist with Pound/Cwt/Ton system.
 
In 1941, the Punjab Weight and Measures act provided a sense of uniformity. In 1956, Government of India passed a Standards of Weights and Measures system to introduce metric system based on Punjab Act. The metric would begin in October 1958, making metric weight mandatory by October 1960, and the metric measures mandatory by April 1962.

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COMMENTS

Bapoo Malcolm

2 years ago

We came away with a sad feeling. Officers of this calibre, instead of being encouraged, are being shunted. One could see, sense, feel the frustration. How long will we have to tilt at windmills?


Bapoo M. Malcolm

manoharlalsharma

2 years ago

'No more, no less, buy the exact quantity you paid for' we r filling complaints since last 15 years to JTR/CBD,CIDCO and also filling at HC what happened at final-A co operative minister TERN DOWN the orders and than HC admits FRIVOLOUS or VEXATIOUS CASE / MERIT LESS ad than YEARS of LOOT.NO ONE do nay thing because grant of STAY from HC

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