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SII launches India’s 1st and world’s cheapest pneumonia vaccine
The Serum Institute of India (SII), on Monday, launched India’s first homegrown pneumonia vaccine called Pneumosil. The vaccine, aimed at preventing deaths due to pneumonia, is also claimed to be the world’s cheapest.
The vaccine has the composition of the pre-qualified one by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is made as per the prevalence of the top 10 serotypes of S Pneumoniae in India, which causes mortalities. The vaccine will provide effective and long-lasting protection for children against pneumococcal diseases.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan launched the vaccine, which SII developed in collaboration with PATH, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Harsh Vardhan said it was a significant milestone for the public health care in the country and would ensure that children were protected better against pneumococcal diseases.
The vaccine makes the SSI the world’s third supplier of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) under pneumococcal Advance Market Commitment (AMC) and the first developing country manufacturer to access the global PCV market.
The number of cases of pneumonia and deaths due to it have been relatively higher this year with intensive testing and better surveillance. SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said the vaccine had a unique composition based on the serotype prevalence in India.
“While the vaccine itself is of the highest quality and grade available, vaccine accessibility is of utmost importance as well. Affordable pricing is also a factor. With the best PCV, we hope to bring down the mortality rate significantly, while also making our country self-sufficient with a robust public health care system,” said Poonawalla.