Why is it in News?
It is for the very first time that a vaccine (Rotovac) that has been developed from scratch in India has been “pre-qualified” by the World Health Organization.
What is Rotavirus?
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrheal disease in children worldwide, and vaccination is the best way to prevent severe rotavirus illness. According to a recent study, 37 percent of the hospitalization of children is caused due to Rotavirus.
This vaccine has been developed locally in India by a Hyderabad based ‘Bharat Biotech’. ROTAVAC was licensed by the Drugs Controller General of India in early 2014.
Has this Vaccine been introduced by the Government in its Immunization Programme?
- India began a phased introduction of the vaccine in its national immunization program starting in 2016, and Bharat Biotech has supplied approximately 36 million doses of ROTAVAC to the Indian government.
- A dose costs between Rs 55-65, according to the reports of the company.
What does Pre-qualification by WHO mean?
To be “pre-qualified” means that the vaccine can be sold internationally to United Nations Organizations and several countries in Africa & South America (which have less access to medicare).