CHENNAI: Many who went to the King Institute of Preventive Medicine in Chennai foryellow fever vaccination were turned away on Friday after the institute ran out of shots.
Officials attributed the shortage to delay in the arrival of a consignment from Himachal Pradesh, owing to security check on Independence Day. Many who had queued up at the institute since morning to get the vaccination ahead of their trips to African and South American nations were forced to return home disappointed. Although India is free from the disease, people visiting these countries, where the disease is endemic, have to be immunised to obtain travel visas.
“We took down the numbers of those who came and assured to keep them informed once the vaccine arrives,” said Dr Gunasekaran, director of the institute. He said distribution of the vaccine throughout the country from the Central Research Institute in Kasauli was affected because of the security checks. “The supply will resume shortly,” he said.
While vaccination for yellow fever is administered at the King Institute on Fridays, at the Port Trust Health Office shots are given on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Vaccination for the disease had stopped in March due to an interruption in the WHO supply and a breakdown in equipment at the Central Research Institute in Kasauli. A July 19 TOI report said several travellers were obtaining fake vaccination certificates and some were procuring vaccines from the black market.
According to WHO norms, all passengers flying to the 23 African countries and 11 South American nations listed should get yellow fever shots.