Rotavac Current Affairs - 2019
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Gagandeep Kang becomes first Indian woman scientist to be awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society (FRS), United Kingdom.
- She is a clinician scientist, who is well known for her key role in development of Rotavac. She currently appointed as executive director of Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad, which is an autonomous institute of Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology.
- In 2016, she was conferred prestigious Infosys Prize in Life Sciences for her contributions in understanding natural history of rotavirus and other infectious diseases.
- She is also first Indian and first woman to edit Manson’s Textbook of Tropical Medicine.
It is India’s first indigenously developed vaccine for rotavirus infections, which is responsible for childhood diarrhea. The Rotavac was developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Limited and Pune-based Serum International also developed a rotavirus vaccine called Rabishield. Both of them are included in India’s Immunisation Programme.
In January 2018, World Health Organisation (WHO) “pre-qualified” the Rotavac vaccine, which means that vaccine could be sold internationally to other countries in Africa and South America.
Fellowship of the Royal Society
It is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence since 1663. It is an award sponsored by Royal Society of London and also known as FRS, ForMemRS and HonFRS. It is granted to individuals who made substantial contribution to improvement of natural knowledge in fields of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science, and medical science.
It has been awarded to many eminent scientists approximately 8000 in total with 1675 living right now, including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Ernest Rutherford, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill etc.
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 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.
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.
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.