On July 15, 2020, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approved the first indigenously developed Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine. The vaccine was developed by Serum Institute of India.

Highlights

The DCGI has approved Serum Institute to conduct phase I, phase II and phase III clinical trials of Pneumococcal Polysaccharide conjugate vaccine in the country. Similar trials have been conducted by the institute in Gambia.

The clinical trial data was reviewed by a Special Expert Committee set up by DCGI.

About the vaccine

The Pneumococcal Polysaccharide vaccine protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. It helps to prevent invasive infections such as bacteremia and meningitis.

Medicinal Uses

The World Health Organization does not recommend the use of the vaccine in routine childhood immunization programmes. In United States, the vaccine is recommended only to adults of 65 years of age or for adults who have serious health problems, smokers and children older than 2 years old and have serious long-term health issues.

Vaccine in India

In India, as of 2015 deaths due to pneumococcal disease was 56 per 100,000. This is one of the highest in the world. The Indian states with highest number of pneumococcal deaths are Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

In India, the Pneumococcal vaccination programme has been launched in five states namely Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

According to the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, three primary doses of pneumococcal vaccine is being administered to children. The doses are given at 6th, 10th and 14th week and a booster at 15th month. The programme aims to decrease post neonatal mortality rate. Currently, it is 17% in India.

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