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SII launches India’s 1st fully indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine, Pneumosil

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Pneumosil is similar as the paediatric pneumococcal vaccine already on the market and targets serotypes 1, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 19A, 19F and 23F, providing effective and long-lasting protection for children against pneumococcal diseases

Serum Institute of India (SII) launched India’s first indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine – Pneumosil in the presence of Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare.

Developed through a collaboration spanning over a decade among SII, PATH and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the vaccine is aimed at improving pneumococcal conjugate vaccine affordability and enabling sustainable access for low- and middle-income countries.

As per an SII statement, the vaccine makes SII the world’s third supplier of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) under the pneumococcal Advance Market Commitment (AMC), and the first developing country vaccine manufacturer to access the global PCV market.

As a PCV, Pneumosil is similar as the paediatric pneumococcal vaccine already on the market and targets serotypes 1, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 19A, 19F and 23F. It is WHO pre-qualified for its procurement by United Nations Agencies and GAVI, with its safety and immunogenicity profile favourably comparable to both currently available licensed and WHO pre-qualified PCVs worldwide.

Various seroprevalence assessment estimates Pneumosil serotype coverage similar to other PCVs in high disease burden countries, including countries with high seroprevalence of 6A and 19A

As per a statement from SII, the company has several patents related to the manufacturing of this vaccine to its credit, which makes Pneumosil relatively cost-efficient at high-volumes and more accessible over the long term for the countries that need it most.

Speaking about the launch, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare said, “It is a great moment of pride to witness Serum Institute take forward the ‘Make in India’ legacy, with the launch of India’s first indigenously developed Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine. It is a significant milestone for the country’s public health care which will ensure that children are protected better against Pneumococcal disease with an affordable and high-quality vaccine.  I am sure, Serum Institute of India will continue their endeavour to develop many more life-saving vaccines in future also on the lines of clarion call of our Hon’ble Prime Minister “VOCAL FOR LOCAL” and fulfil our Hon’ble Prime Minister’s dream “ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT””

Talking about the launch of Pneumosil, Adar Poonawalla, CEO, SII shared, “Over the years our constant endeavour has been to provide high quality vaccines with regular supplies which ensures excellent immunisation coverage to children and families worldwide. With that thought we have developed this PCV with a unique composition based on the serotype prevalence in India. This makes our PCV an ideal choice for protecting our children from pneumococcal disease. While the vaccine itself is of the highest quality and grade available, vaccine accessibility is of utmost importance as well, and to ensure ease of access by making it available at an affordable price. 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.”

Pneumococcal disease is a significant contributor to the under-five mortality rate worldwide. Annually, India witnesses an estimated 71 per cent of pneumonia deaths and 57 per cent of severe pneumonia cases. Every year nearly 67,800 children under 5 years of age die in India from pneumococcal diseases in 2018. Recognising it’s widespread fatality, WHO recommends the inclusion of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) in routine childhood immunisation programmes in all countries. Following this, Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccines (PCV) work directly to reduce the incidence of pneumococcal pneumonia by preventing Streptococcus pneumonia.

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