Kerala and Tamil Nadu are the two states where the vaccine is being introduced this year.
The Union health ministry is rolling out the vaccine against Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib) infection in the national immunisation schedule for infants for the first time.
According to the petitioner, P G Hari, who is a homoeopathy practitioner in Wayanad and president of the 'Jankeeya Manushyavakasasamrakhana Prasthanam' (Organisation Fighting for Protection of People's Rights), "adverse effects" of the vaccine had been reported from Sri Lanka [ Images ], Bhutan and Bangladesh and no proper studies were conducted before it was introduced in India [ Images ].
The petitioner contended that the rollout of the vaccine, which claims to eradicate tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and poliomyelitis, was allegedly to protect the interests of pharmaceutical companies and international agencies such as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation and the Bill Gates [ Images ] Foundation Trust.
The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation had advised the Centre to roll out the vaccine in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and it would be introduced in other states after reviewing the data on the vaccination in Kerala and Tamil Nadu after a year, the petitioner charged.
He alleged that clinical trials of the vaccine were going on in the two states but they were being undertaken without following the guidelines for the trials.