Rotavac Current Affairs

Rotavac: First India-designed vaccine to pass WHO test

Rotavac became first Indigenously developed vaccine from India to be pre-qualified by World Health Organisation (WHO). It means that vaccine can be sold internationally to several countries in South America and Africa.

So far, several vaccines from India have been pre-qualified by WHO, but Rotavac is first vaccine entirely developed locally to get this status in safety and efficacy.

Rotavac

Rotavac conceived and developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Limited. It protects against childhood diarrhoea caused by the rotavirus. It was developed under the joint collaboration between India and United States in area of medical research.

It was developed under public-private partnership (PPP) model that involved Ministry of Science and Technology, institutions of the US Government and NGOs in India supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The vaccine was built on strain of the virus isolated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi over 30 years ago. It has been included in India’s national immunisation programme. The vaccine was tested in field for over a year, have not shown any negative effect.

Significance

This recognition signifies credible industrial, scientific and regulatory process in place to develop vaccines in India. It paves the way for health and humanitarian organizations such as UNICEF, GAVI and Pan-American Health Organization to procure Rotavac for public health vaccination programmes across the world.

Rotavirus

It is a most common causative agent of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (MSD) among infants below 11 months age group in India. It spreads from person to person due to bacterial and parasiting agents that are primarily transmitted through contaminated food or water. It is responsible for estimated 36% of hospitalisations for childhood diarrhoea around world and for estimated 200,000 deaths in low- and middle-income countries. In India, diarrhoea caused by rotavirus, kills nearly 80 thousand children under age of 5 years and up to 10 lakh hospitalizations each year.

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Union Health Ministry launches India’s first indigenous rotavirus vaccine Rotavac

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched India’s first indigenous rotavirus vaccine named Rotavac to combat infant mortality due to diarrhoea.

It was launched by Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda as part country’s ambitious Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).

The vaccine is being introduced initially in four States Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh (first to launch it) and Odisha. It would be expanded to the entire country in a phased manner.

The Rotavirus vaccine has been developed indigenously under a public-private partnership between the Union Ministry of Science Technology, Union Health Ministry, institutions of the US Government and NGOs in India supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The vaccine is administered orally to infants in three dose course at ages of six, ten and fourteen weeks as part of Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).

Note: The Rotavac vaccine is addition to three new vaccines that have been introduced by Union Government as part of country’s UIP. These three vaccines are Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), Measles, Rubella (MR) vaccine, and Adult Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine.

About Rotavirus

  • The Rotavirus is a genus of double-stranded RNA virus in the family Reoviridae.
  • It most common causative agent of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (MSD) among infants below 11 months age group and death among children less than five years of age.
  • Transmission: The virus spreads from person to person due to bacterial and parasiting agents that are primarily transmitted through contaminated food or water.
  • Impact on Health: It causes gastroenteritis after it damages the cells that line the small intestine and causes gastroenteritis. In some cases in causes malnutrition, delayed physical and mental development among children

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