Anti-rabies vaccine in 2 years

KATHMANDU: The government is speeding work to introduce tissue-cultured anti-rabies vaccine for humans within two years. Presently the bio-technology is in its trial phase.

Lat Narayan Chaudhary, assistant zoonotic at Epidemiology and Disease Control Division under Ministry of Health and Population, said they are sending the second batch of trial vaccines to referral laboratory of World Health Organisation to test the quality of the product.

Talking to The Himalayan Times, he said the WHO has phased out the betapropiolactone inactivated sheep brain rabies vaccine, which used to be produced here, for human use.

The new technology will save the country Rs 100 million annually, which is presently spent on importing anti-rabies vaccine. Chaudhary claims that the production can meet the domestic demand meeting the standard. The home-grown vaccine can be supplied at Rs 80 per dose.

Dr Ganesh Raj Pant, chief of Rabies Vaccine Production Unit, said the trial version of the drug was first produced on March 24, 2006 but the WHO lab has not granted them permission to bring it to use citing sub-standard quality.

"We are effortful to overcome all the shortcomings witnessed in the earlier sample," said Dr Pant.