The government Friday denied that Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines were responsible for the reported deaths from Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
'In Andhra Pradesh among 14,091 vaccinated girls, five deaths have been reported whereas in Gujarat two deaths were reported among 10,686 girls,' Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
'The cause of deaths in Andhra Pradesh were determined as suicide, viral fever, drowning and heat stroke and in Gujarat deaths were suspected due to snake bite and severe anaemia with malaria,' he said.
The HPV vaccination was carried out by an international NGO programme for Appropriate Technology in Health as a post licensure (operational research) study of HPV vaccination in three blocks each of Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh and Vadodara district of Gujarat.
Azad said the HPV vaccination aimed at reducing the risk of cervix cancer, gaining experience in HPV vaccination and to build evidence based vaccine delivery strategy for future introduction of HPV in the universal immunisation programme.
The minister however added that state governments have been instructed not to carry out any further vaccinations.