Ministry of Health has Suspended vaccination camps for Hepatitis B by private health workers saying the process of accreditation of new service providers is ongoing.
In March, Ugandan media was washed by stories of counterfeit hepatitis B vaccine at UMC Victoria hospital Bukoto; Mbarara Community hospital, Devine Mercy, Mayanja Memorial hospital, Family Doctors’ clinic Ntungamo, Mbarara City clinic, Malcom Health Care Kisaasi and Kampala Medical Chambers along Buganda road and other health facilities.
In the process, UNDA launched an operation leading to seizing of a total of 196 suspected falsified 10ml units of the vaccine purportedly manufactured by Serum institute of India for investigation.
Heath Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng said, UNDA has made efforts to monitor side effects among those who received the falsified vaccines but none have been identified or reported.
She said falsified vaccines had significantly lower antigen potency than the authentic, thus reducing its efficacy, “The protective ingredient (a protein from the surface of Hepatitis B Virus) was present in some falsified samples and absent in others, presenting uncertainty in efficacy,”
She noted that there were significant labeling differences as earlier confirmed by UNDA and no residual chemicals, contaminants, bacteria or fungi in both samples. There was no possible harm to whoever received falsified vaccine.
“To further establish the actual ingredients of the falsified vaccine, Ministry of health sought assistance from world health organisation and supported confirmatory tests at Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA),”
She revealed that both the suspected and genuine 10ml multi dose samples had major similarities in physical appearance however the Major differences were observed in external labeling and both samples returned similar pH and extractable volume results.