Japanese Encephalitis: China Denies India’s Request for Additional Doses of Vaccine

Monday, March 9, 2015

China has refused to supply additional doses of the Japanese encephalitis vaccine to India, raising concerns over control of the mosquito-borne disease which intensifies during the rainy season.

“We have been importing from China. However, they have refused to supply more citing capacity constraints and commitments to other countries,” a senior health ministry official told the Times of India.

A high-level delegation with officials from the health ministry is visiting Beijing to negotiate on the vaccine purchase.

Cases of deadly Japanese encephalitis have risen nearly five-fold in five years in India’s north-eastern Assam state which has also seen a recent spurt in JE cases among adults, something exceptional in global context so far.

There is no cure for the disease and vaccination offers the best protection against the virus.

India currently procures 66 million doses of JE vaccine from China but has sought an additional 16 million doses to expand the coverage of its ongoing National Programme for Prevention and Control of Japanese Encephalitis.

Source: International Business Times (link opens in a new window)

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