From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Pneumococcal Vaccine
Mains level : Not Much
Pneumococcal vaccine developed by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India has been pre-qualified by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
- Pneumococcal vaccination is a method of preventing a specific type of lung infection (pneumonia) that is caused by the pneumococcus (Streptococcus pneumonia) bacterium.
- There are more than 80 different types of pneumococcus bacteria – 23 of them covered by the vaccine.
- The vaccine is injected into the body to stimulate the normal immune system to produce antibodies that are directed against pneumococcus bacteria.
- This method of stimulating the normal immune system to be directed against a specific microbe is called immunization.
- It does not protect against pneumonia caused by microbes other than pneumococcus bacteria, nor does it protect against pneumococcal bacterial strains not included in the vaccine.
About the Vaccine
- The pneumococcal vaccine PNEUMOSIL is a conjugate vaccine to help produce stronger immune response to a weak antigen.
- Serum Institute had optimized an efficient conjugate vaccine manufacturing processes for its meningitis A vaccine (MenAfriVac).
- It was used for manufacturing the pneumococcal vaccine. This helped the company reduce the manufacturing cost of pneumococcal vaccine.
- It pneumonia caused 1,27,000 deaths in India in 2018, the second highest number of child mortality under the age of five in the world.
- In India, pneumonia and diarrhoea cause the most deaths in children under five years.
- In 2017, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine was included in the under India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).
- It has been introduced in a phased manner starting with Himachal Pradesh, parts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
- The efficacy of the Serum vaccine was tested against an already approved pneumococcal vaccine (Synflorix).