THE inefficacy of locally made vaccines, according to doctors, is fanning the resurgence of a diphtheria epidemic in Russia and the newly independant states of the former Soviet Union. In the first 9 months of 1994, 21,622 people had contracted the disease in Russia alone. So far this year, 45 people have been affected in the republic of Bashkortostan, including some who had been previously vaccinated. Ukraine is one of the worst affected, with 1,029 people having caught the disease and 38 dead this year.
Decreasing immunisation, weakening of general immunity among adults, breakdown of health services and largescale human movement over the past few years have worsened the scenario. The low rate of immunisation is attributed to Russian doctors strapped by a a list of contraindications they had drawn up.(ips)
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