Communicable and Non-communicable diseases – HIV, Malaria, Cancer, Mental Health, etc.

First India-designed vaccine passes WHO test


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Achievements of Indians in science & technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: WHO, Rotavac and Rabishield vaccine, India’s national immunization programme

Mains level: India’s achievements in pharmaceutical research

Rotavac vaccine pre-qualified by WHO

  1. For the first time, a vaccine conceived and developed from scratch in India has been “pre-qualified” by the World Health Organisation
  2. The Rotavac vaccine, developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Limited last year, was included in India’s national immunization programme
  3. To be “pre-qualified” means that the vaccine can be sold internationally to several countries in Africa and South America

Uniqueness of the vaccine

  1. Several vaccines from India have been pre-qualified, this is the first that was entirely developed locally
  2. The Rotavac vaccine protects against childhood diarrhea caused by the rotavirus
  3. It was built on strain of the virus isolated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here over 30 years ago

Another similar vaccine

  1. Pune-based Serum International also has developed a rotavirus vaccine called Rabishield
  2. It has also been included in India’s immunization programme


India’s national immunization programme

  1. Universal Immunization Programme is a vaccination program launched by the Government of India in 1985
  2. It became a part of Child Survival and Safe Motherhood Programme in 1992 and is currently one of the key areas of National Rural Health Mission(NRHM) since 2005
  3. The program now consists of vaccination for 12 diseases- tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, Hepatitis B, Diarrhoea, Japanese Encephalitis, rubella, Pneumonia( Haemophilus Influenza Type B)and Pneumococcal diseases (Pneumococcal Pneumonia and Meningitis)
  4. The other additions in UIP through the way are inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), rotavirus vaccine (RVV), Measles-Rubella vaccine (MR) and Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
  5. Vaccines against rotavirus, rubella and polio (injectable) will help the country meet its Millennium Development Goals 4 targets that include reducing child mortality by two-thirds by 2015, besides meeting meet global polio eradication targets
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