India’s First Locally Produced Pneumonia Vaccine Approved by DCGI

The pneumonia vaccine developed by Serum Institute of India has got approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). It will now manufacture the vaccine for further use. With this, India now has its own locally developed pneumonia vaccine.

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The Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine is used for active immunization against the disease caused by Streptococcus Pneumoniae. It is administered intramuscularly.

The DCGI gave approvals for manufacturing after looking into the results of all testing phases. The Pune based company conducted the trials for the vaccine in India and Gambia.

Benefits from a Locally Developed Vaccine

  • Prior to this, India used to depend on imports from foreign companies. But with a locally produced vaccine, we move ahead on the path of ‘self-reliance’.
  • An indigenously produced vaccine will make it more affordable and accessible to areas, which usually do not get covered.

Dr V K Paul, health-member at NITI Ayog told HT, “Having an indigenous pneumococcal vaccine will be a game-changer in our endeavour to reduce child mortality. Pneumonia is the most important cause of child deaths and pneumococci are responsible for half of serious pneumonia. India’s vaccine is a boon for our country and the world”.

The Killer Disease

According to a report, Streptococcus Pneumoniae kills at least one million children under the age of five every year. This is more than the deaths caused by any other disease. Further, 70% child deaths are reported from developing countries.

In India pneumonia has been a major cause of death in many infants and children below the age of five. On an estimate, every year 25% of all child deaths in India are due to pneumonia. According to UNICEF, in 2018, India reported as many as 1, 27,000 deaths under five due to pneumonia.

Even though the government has run many immunization programs and awareness campaigns, still many female children get left out. With a vaccine being developed in the country itself, the problems will be reduced.

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Written By Shiwangi, She is doing her Masters in Mass Communication from GGS IP University, New Delhi.

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