On December 28, 2020, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan virtually launched India’s 1st Indigenous Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) – ‘Pneumosil’ to treat pneumonia. The vaccine has been developed by Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL) in collaboration with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
i.The Vaccine will make SIIPL the world’s 3rd largest supplier of PCV under the pneumococcal Advance Market Commitment (AMC), and the first Developing country vaccine manufacturer to access the global PCV market.
ii.Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) licensed the Vaccine in July 2020 after approval from the Subject Expert Committee (SEC).
Objective – The vaccine will primarily help to fight against pneumococcal pneumonia among children
Pneumonia accounts for 1 Million deaths worldwide & is the single largest cause of death among children under five years of age of which India alone accounts for 20% of child deaths & highest burden of childhood pneumonia than any other country.
i.The vaccine ‘Pneumosil’ would be available in single dose & Multidose presentations.
ii.It has been successfully evaluated in 5 randomized controlled clinical trials and was administered to adults, toddlers & infants for different vaccination schedules.
iii.It also demonstrated comparable safety & immunogenicity against licensed pneumococcal vaccines across diverse populations of India & Africa.
iv.The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the inclusion of PCV in routine childhood immunization programs for prevention of Pneumococcal diseases.
Pneumonia in India:
i.India witnesses about 71% of pneumonia deaths and 57% of severe pneumonia cases.
ii.Since 2018, around 67, 800 children under 5 years of age have died in India due to pneumococcal disease.
Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL):
i.SIIPL is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by the number of doses produced.
ii.The vaccines produced by SIIPL are used in 170 countries and every 3rd child in the world is immunized with its Vaccines.
Vaccines against Pneumonia:
Pneumococcal conjugate Vaccine is one of the 3 key vaccines for protecting infants, young children, and adults against pneumonia. Other two are Measles Rubella Vaccine & Pentavalent Vaccine.
Recent Related News:
i.World Pneumonia Day is annually celebrated across the globe on 12th November to create awareness among the general public about Pneumonia, a fatal infection and the methods to prevent the infection.
ii.On January 30, 2020 according to a recent report by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation(IHME), 14% of under 5 years of age deaths in India occurred mainly due to pneumonia.
About Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL):
Chairman & Managing Director – Cyrus S. Poonawalla
Chief Executive Officer – Adar C. Poonawalla
Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra