Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday, launched the first indigenous vaccine against pneumonia “Pneumosil” which is developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), in his statement, said that the vaccine will be available either as a single dose in a vial and pre-filled syringe or as multidose in vials at affordable prices.
“The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) would be used to treat pneumonia in children and has been developed by SII in collaboration with other partners like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,” the statement said.
As the vaccine was developed during the Covid-19 pandemic, it falls in the line of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat Programme, the health minister added.
“Pneumosil has been extensively evaluated in 5 randomized 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,” Vardhan said.
He also said the vaccine has proven safe during these trials and has prevented pneumonia following which the Drugs Controller General (India) approved the vaccine in July 2020 after the approval from the subject expert committee (SEC).
Lauding SII for being the world’s largest manufactures of vaccines, the Health Minister said that its vaccines are used in more than 170 countries.
“Serum Institute’s vaccines are used in 170 countries and every third child in the world is immunized with the manufacturer’s vaccine.” He also appreciated India’s scientific and medical fraternity, saying that the indigenous vaccine would reduce India’s dependency on high priced PCVs from foreign manufacturers.
According to Harsh Vardhan, pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death among children under five years of age accounts for 1 million deaths worldwide.
SII which is based in Pune is playing a major role in the development of the Covid-19 vaccine, the vaccine manufacturer is developing the “Covishield” vaccine in collaboration with Oxford University and AstraZeneca and has stockpiled around 50 million doses of the vaccine.
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