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Human papillomavirus vaccine project stirs controversy in India

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1775 (Published 29 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1775
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

    A project in two states in India to vaccinate 32 000 girls aged 10 to 14 years against the human papillomavirus has struck controversy, with women’s groups, health activists, and some doctors questioning its rationale, ethics, and informed consent procedures.

    A women’s organisation has asked the government to investigate reports of deaths and side effects among girls who have received the vaccine under the project, which is being run by the Indian Council of Medical Research, the nation’s leading health research agency, and the non-profit Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), which is based in Seattle, Washington. The vaccine has been available to the public in India through private medical practitioners since October 2008.

    Project officials have said that the vaccination initiative in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat seeks to “generate critical data and experience” to plan cost effective strategies to prevent or control cervical cancer. …

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