India to launch first indigenous Pneumonia Vaccine next week

India now has an indigenous vaccine against Pneumonia as well. The first Indian vaccine against Pneumonia has been developed by the Serum Institute of India. The vaccine will soon be launched by the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, and will also be made available in the domestic markers as early as next week, sources confirmed on Wednesday. According to the reports, the vaccine will be much more affordable than existing ones manufactured by two foreign companies.

Vaccines produced by Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) are currently used in India for immunization against pneumonia. After reviewing the trial data of the three phases submitted by the Pune firm, the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate vaccine was granted approval for regulation in the market by India’s drug regulator. This vaccine is used for active immunisation against invasive disease and pneumonia caused by “Streptococcus pneumonia” in infants, the health ministry had said earlier. The phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials of the vaccine have been conducted in India and African nation Gambia. Pneumonia is a very common health problem in India.

As per UNICEF data, more than one lakh children under the age of five years die every year in the country due to the pneumococcal disease. Since pneumonia is a respiratory ailment, hence vaccination of children with the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) assumes utmost significance during the current COVID-19 pandemic, an official source said.