The Indian health ministry has maintained its position for the last 10 years. At least formally, with the Supreme Court, the Parliament and the media. It wants to upgrade the three public vaccine manufacturers to supply vaccines of impeccable quality at a low price. Now that the government companies have risen from the ashes as competent vaccine producers, the health ministry needs to make a choice. Are they still a worthy contender for the now Rs 9,451-crore ($1.44 billion) national vaccination programme?
The three public sector undertakings (PSUs)—Central Research Institute (CRI), Kasauli, BCG Vaccine Laboratory (BCGVL), Chennai and Pasteur Institute of India (PII), Coonoor—were shut down in January 2008.