History shows India did not lack access to vaccines as claimed by PM Modi -Jacob Koshy

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published Published on Jun 8, 2021   modified Modified on Jun 8, 2021

-The Hindu

India, even before Independence, was among the countries that indigenously manufactured vaccines almost years within they were discovered, historical records suggest.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on Friday presented a view of India’s vaccination history that is at odds with the facts. “If you look at the history of vaccinations in India, whether it was a vaccine for smallpox, hepatitis B or polio, you will see that India would have to wait decades for procuring vaccines from abroad. When vaccination programmes ended in other countries, it wouldn't have even begun in our country,” claimed Mr. Modi in his address.

India, even before Independence, was among the countries that indigenously manufactured vaccines almost years within they were discovered, historical records suggest.

While there have been several challenges to the uptake of vaccines, their availability was the least of the problems.

Smallpox vaccine

A vaccine for smallpox, as a history of vaccination in India published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR), by Dr. Chandrakant Lahariya, in 2012, says was first administered to a three-year-old India, in 1802, a mere four years after English physician Edward Jenner published result of his experiments on inoculating subjects with a cowpox virus.

The smallpox vaccines were imported into India until 1850 but preserving the liquid lymph solution was a challenge. This led to institutes in India researching ways to increase lymph supply with early success by 1895.

The first animal vaccine depot was set up in Shillong in 1890 from where it started to be produced.

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The Hindu, 8 June, 2021, https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/news-analysis-history-shows-india-did-not-lack-access-to-vaccines-as-claimed-by-pm-modi/article34758021.ece


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