ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Y MadhaviSubscribe to Y Madhavi

Measles-Rubella Vaccine

The mandatory measles–rubella (MR) vaccination drive initiated in schools by the Indian government in October 2019 has raised questions regarding whether informed consent was sought from parents prior to vaccination and its legal implications. This article presents a comprehensive picture of informed consent processes, ethics, and the law, and the need for evidence prior to implementing national vaccination policies. In the case of a combination vaccine such as the MR vaccine, we see that the rubella vaccine gained entry to India’s universal immunisation programme (UIP) without clear scientific evidence on its disease burden and in the absence of public demand for such a vaccine by piggybacking on another universal vaccine (measles).

Manufacture of Consent?

This article explores several questions concerning the inclusion of hepatitis B vaccination under the universal immunisation programme in India, such as the prevalence of the disease in the population, cost-effectiveness and international experience. There are strong indications that the vaccine policy in India, rather than being determined by disease burden and demand, is increasingly driven by supply push, generated by industry and mediated by international organisations. The debate on hepatitis B in India underscores the need for a strong health information and disease surveillance system, local capability building and rigorous economic evaluation studies with regard to health policies.
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