Indigenous vaccine against pneumococcal disease

#GS3 #SCIENCE

Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) unveiled India’s first indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine

  • The world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by doses, SII is also the maker of Covishield, the Indian version of the AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine.
  • This is a significant milestone for the country’s public healthcare which will ensure that children are protected better against pneumococcal disease with an effective vaccine. 
  • The vaccine targets the pneumococcal bacterium, which causes pneumonia and other serious life-threatening diseases such as meningitis and sepsis, and is estimated to cause nearly four lakh deaths in children under five years of age each year worldwide.
  • Pneumococcal disease is a significant contributor under-five mortality rate worldwide. 
  • In view of its widespread fatality, the World Health Organization in 2018 recommended the inclusion of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in routine childhood immunisation programmes in all countries.
  • First indigenous PCV will be available in the market at an affordable price in single dose (vial and prefilled syringe) and multidose (vial) presentations. 
  • The unique feature of the WHO pre-qualified PCV is its composition which is specially tailored to the serotype of the bacterium, S penumoniae, in India and other regions of the world.
  • Pneumosil has been extensively evaluated in five randomised controlled clinical trials and has demonstrated comparable safety and immunogenicity against licensed pneumococcal vaccines across diverse populations of India and Africa, where Pneumosil was administered to adults, toddlers and infants using different vaccination schedules. 
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