New Delhi, August 19, 2016: On Friday, the government announced that a team would be set up to advise on how to further improve India’s ranking in the global index of countries in the sphere of innovations.
“I am announcing that from the Department (of Commerce) a team would be formed that would look at repositioning India in the sphere of innovations,” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here, releasing the Global Innovation Index 2016 Report at an event hosted by jointly by the Niti Aayog, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and industry chamber CII.
“This team, which will include members from both government and outside, will not reinvent the wheel, but will go into the report, identify challenges and weaknesses to India’s innovation and what the government can do where it should step in and where it should step back and away,” Sitharaman said.
In the ninth Global Innovation Index report this year, in 2016, India has improved its ranking by 15 places over last year, following five previous years of decline in position.
“I commit myself to the government’s assistance and facilitation to improve India’s innovation ranking next year,” the minister said, adding the composition of the committee would be announced in a few days. (IANS)
Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use
Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.
Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.
The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.
PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.
But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.
The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.
For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.
According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.
Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.
“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.
The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.
In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS