Shortage of tetanus vaccine hits nation

- Rastriya Samachar Samiti, Kathmandu

Nov 12, 2018-

Tetanus vaccines are in short supply across the country, in some places for the past six months, affecting the general public who are in need of the vaccine, according to the Department of Drug Administration.

Raju Shrestha, owner of a Thapathali-based Pharmacy, said the market has been struggling with the vaccine-scarcity for the past three months.

An independent investigation conducted by RSS found that most pharmacies in Tripureshwor, Thapathali, Maitidevi and Putalisadak lack tetanus vaccines. Norvic International Hospital is also out of the vaccine for the past one month.      

According to private distributors, only 10 percent of the total vaccine demand is getting fulfilled at present. The country requires approximately 240,000 ampules of the vaccine per month to meet the demand.

“We were informed about the scarcity only a month ago. We are taking initiatives to have a smooth supply of the vaccine in the country,” said Santosh KC, information officer at the Department of Drug Administration.

It has been reported that a pricing problem between the Indian government and the company that supplies the medicine from India to Nepal is the cause behind the shortage.

The Serum Institute and the Biological Invanz Company based in India are the suppliers of the vaccine in Nepal; the MediSales and the Shree Om Brothers Pvt. are the distributors.

Sribindu Rajbhandari, proprietor of the MediSales, said the Invanz Company cut the medicine supply by over 90 percent citing reconstruction works of its facilities.

The second supplier, Serum Institute, India, has stopped manufacturing the vaccine over the vaccine’s price row, said Subash Adhikari, manager of Shree Om Brothers. The Serum Institute said it could not produce and sell the medicine at the price set by the Indian Government.


Published: 12-11-2018 09:14

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