New Delhi, June 3 Almost a year after H1N1 was declared a pandemic, India will launch four indigenous vaccines for the influenza on Thursday, sources in the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
The sources said the four vaccines — three injections and one nasal spray — will be launched on Thursday by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. The vaccines are expected to cost between Rs.150 to Rs.200.
The first death due to H1N1 flu was reported in May last year and the casualties from the flu stood at 1,531 as of May 31, 2010. Nearly 31,934 people have been affected by the H1N1 flu in the country so far.
Indian vaccines for H1N1 come much after the U.S. and China launched their vaccines. India had to import the vaccine to meet the domestic demand at the peak of the pandemic.
"We did not have the basic facility as this was the first time a vaccine for a flu was being manufactured, this is why it took so long," a senior official from the Health Ministry said.
Though the number of new infections has come down rapidly over the past couple of months, Health Ministry figures pointed that nearly 30 new cases of the flu were confirmed during the last week and four deaths were reported during this period.
Of the deaths, three were in Maharashtra while one was in Kerala. The highest number, 21 cases were reported from Maharashtra last week.