SII to start supplying 1st made-in-India pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to Centre from Wednesday

The Serum Institute of India (SII) will start supplying the first indigenously developed pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to the Centre from Wednesday, sources said on Tuesday.

The vaccine acts against potentially fatal pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, septicaemia and meningitis.

The doses will be sent to government medical stores depots (GMSD) in Kolkata, Mumbai and Karnal on Wednesday.

The SII has to supply 2.4 crore doses of the vaccine to the Health Ministry by December 2021. It will be sent to 37 consignees all over India.

The supply order was issued on February 3 in the name of Prakash Kumar Singh, the director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at the Pune-based SII.

The Health Ministry’s order was placed within two days of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing in her 2021-22 Union Budget speech that indigenously made pneumococcal vaccines will be rolled out across the country.

Sitharaman had said that this would avert over 50,000 deaths annually.

India’s drug regulator had in July last year granted market approval for the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine, after reviewing data of all the three phases of the clinical trial submitted by the SII.

The trials were carried out by SII in Indian and in Gambia.

According to the health ministry, this vaccine is used for active immunization against invasive disease and pneumonia caused by streptococcus pneumonia in infants.

“This is the first indigenously developed vaccine in the field of pneumonia,” an official source had said, adding this would be much more affordable than the ones produced by Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline.

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