Vardhan launches country’s first Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

New Delhi, Dec 29 (Agency) Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday launched India’s first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). The vaccine ”Pneumosil” has been developed by the Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL) in collaboration with partners like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Recognising SIIPL as the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines in terms f doses manufactured and its contribution to India’s economy. Dr Vardhan remarked that Serum Institute’s Vaccines are used in 170 countries and every third child in the world is immunized with the manufacturer’s vaccine.
He reminded the audience that SIIPL developed and got license of first indigenous Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) from Government of India during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. He also mentioned about the extraordinary efforts of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this endeavour to make India self-reliant in PCV.
Detailing the achievements of SIIPL in tailoring a vaccine for India’s needs, Dr Vardhan said, ”Serum Institute’s first Indigenous Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine will be available in the market under brand name ”Pneumosil” at an affordable price in single dose (vial and pre-filled syringe) and Multidose (vial) presentations. Pneumosil has been extensively evaluated in five randomized controlled clinical trials and has demonstrated comparable safety and immunogenicity against licensed pneumococcal vaccines across diverse populations of India and Africa, where Pneumosil was administered to adults, toddlers and infants using different vaccination schedules.”
”During clinical trials, Pneumosil was found to be safe and effective in the prevention of Pneumonia disease and based on which Pneumosil has been licensed by Drugs Controller General (India) in July after approval from Subject Expert Committee (SEC),” he added. Speaking on the Prime Minister’s commitment of Atmanirbhar Bharat and his vision of ‘Make in India for the World’, Dr Vardhan noted, ”Pneumosil is an example of India’s capability in Research and Development and manufacturing high end sophisticated Vaccines. In fact, it is matter of pride for our country for this historical milestone during COVID-19 pandemic because till now we are fully dependent on Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine manufactured by Foreign Manufacturers which are available at very high prices.”
He took the occasion to remind the audience that Pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death among children under five years of age worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 lakhs deaths globally. Congratulating the country’s scientific and medical fraternity, the Minister said, ”I am sure that the team of Serum Institute of India and others in the entire scientific and medical community will continue their endeavour to develop many more life-saving vaccines in future.”
Additional Secretary (MoHFW) Dr Manohar Agnani and other senior officials of the Ministry were present at the event.
Chairman of Poonawalla Group of Industries and Founder, Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL),
Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, and
Chief Executive Officer, SIIPL
Mr Adar Poonawalla, were also present on the occasion.