Monday, 17 August 2015

How important is a Hib vaccine for India?

Nelson Mandela once said, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

According to TOI, India witnessed more child deaths, than any other country, accounting for a staggering 21% of the global deaths. It is estimated that about 4% of all the under-5 deaths in India is due to Hib disease, a figure exhibiting the importance of a Hib vaccine in India. The fastidious nature of the Hib bacterium and the poor infrastructure in the developing countries like India, makes the diagnosis of the disease extremely difficult.

Hib is a deadly bacterium that causes severe diseases like pneumonia and meningitis, which are the leading causes of child deaths in India, accounting for nearly 21% of the global death figures. Hib capsular polysaccharides (Hib-PRP) are poorly immunogenic in children less than two years of age and require conjugation to a protein carrier. Moreover the Hib conjugate vaccine, which plays a vital role in national immunization programs and also forms a main part of the pentavalent vaccine, is the costliest component.

The new conjugate vaccine developed by Hilleman Laboratories is a more immunogenic preparation of Hib capsular polysaccharide (PRP)–tetanustoxoid (TT) conjugates using optimized PRP chain length and conjugation conditions. This new and unique cost-effective formulation developed by the company will significantly reduce the cost of Hib vaccine, which in turn, will help in reducing the market price of the pentavalent vaccine, thus making it accessible to a larger number of people. This will definitely have a larger economic impact on the public health system and subsequently bring down the expenditure in the system.

Thus introducing a Hib vaccine is of paramount importance for a country like India. It will have a positive impact in reducing child illness and death, as we have seen in the case of the industrialized part of the world where the disease has been virtually wiped out through immunization.

Hib vaccines are currently being used in over 185 countries worldwide, which represent over 95% of WHO member nations. The Hib-pentavalent vaccine is currently available in 18 states across India.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

Hilleman Laboratories is a global vaccine research & development organization focused on making affordable vaccines using innovation to address gaps that exist in low resource settings. Hilleman Labs acts as a catalyst in bridging the gap between academic research and product development by targeting novel vaccines and increasing the efficiency of existing vaccines. Know More

Designed By D Yellow Elephant