ROTAVAC Vaccine to be expand to entire country
Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to expand Rotavirus vaccine to the entire country from September 2019. It will provide Rotavirus vaccine to every child across all 36 states/UTs by September, 2019. This decision was taken as per an ambitious plan of Health Ministry under the 100-days agenda of the newly elected government.
Out of all the causes of diarrhoea in India, rotavirus is a leading cause of diarrhoea in children less than 5 years of age. In India, every year there are 37 diarrheal deaths out of every 1000 children. It is estimated that rotavirus cause around 8 lakh hospitalizations; 32 lakh outpatient visits and estimated 78 thousand deaths annually in India.
Rotavirus diarrhoea presents in similar manner like any other diarrhoea but can easily prevented through rotavirus vaccination. Other diarrhoea can be prevented through general measures such as safe water and safe food consumption, good hygiene, frequent hand washing, exclusive breastfeeding as well as vitamin A supplementation.
It is India’s first indigenously developed vaccine for rotavirus infections. It has been developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Limited.
It was introduced in 2016 in phased manner, beginning with 4 states initially. At present, Rotavirus vaccine is now available in 28 States/UTs.
It was included in Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) based on recommendation of expert committee National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI).
UIP: 3 doses of rotavirus vaccine are provided along with other vaccines, free of cost under UIP at one and half month, two and half moth, and three and half month of age of child.
WHO Pre-qualification: In January 2018, World Health Organisation (WHO) had prequalified Rotavac vaccine i.e. it can be sold internationally to several countries in Africa and South America.
Gagandeep Kang: She had played key role development of Rotavac and for this she awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society (FRS), United Kingdom in April 2019, making her first Indian woman to be awarded this highest scientific recognition.