India’s First Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine “Pneumosil”

Source: The Indian Express

News: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has inaugurated India’s first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine(PCV) named “Pneumosil”.

Facts:

  • Pneumosil: It has been developed by the Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL) in collaboration with partners like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Pneumosil was licensed by the Drugs Controller General (India) in July 2020.

What is Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine(PCV)?

  • It is a pneumococcal and a conjugate vaccine used to protect infants, young children and adults against disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus).
    • Conjugate: It is a type of vaccine that joins a protein to an antigen in order to improve the protection the vaccine provides.
  • It contains purified capsular polysaccharide of pneumococcal serotypes conjugated to a carrier protein to improve antibody response.
  • The unique feature of the PCV is its composition which is specially tailored to the prevailing serotype prevalence of S Pneumoniae in India and other regions of the world.

What is Pneumococcal disease?

  • Pneumococcal disease is the name given to a group of diseases caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae, (also known as pneumococcus).
  • Diseases caused by pneumococcus include 1) severe diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis and bacteraemia (presence of bacteria in the blood) and 2) milder diseases such as middle ear infection (otitis media), sinusitis and bronchitis.
  • Cases: Pneumococcal disease is a significant contributor to the under-five mortality rate worldwide.Annually India witnesses an estimated 71% of pneumonia deaths and 57% of severe pneumonia cases.Every year, nearly 67,800 children under five years of age die from pneumococcal diseases.
  • Vaccine: Hence, recognising its widespread fatality, WHO recommended the inclusion of PCV in routine childhood immunisation programmes in all countries.

 

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