Indigenous vaccine to curb rota virus

Indigenous vaccine to curb rota virus

An indigenous vaccine developed to curb the child-killer rota virus was commercially released on Monday.

It will be available at medical shops by March-end.

The three-dose vaccine, developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, will significantly reduce more than 80,000 children deaths due to rota virus diarrhoea.

While two other vaccines against the same virus are available in the market, Bharat Biotech chief executive officer Krishna Ella told Deccan Herald that the company would provide the vaccine at a price of one dollar for the government's universal immunisation programme.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who launched the vaccine on Monday, announced the inclusion of the rota virus vaccine in UIP last year.

The firm has a large production plant with a capacity of 50 crore doses in anticipation of the government's order.

Despite plans by the Union Health Ministry to launch the rota virus immunisation by October 2014, it had to shelve the plans since its budget was slashed for the current fiscal by Rs 6,000 crore.

The Centre plans to launch a two-dose campaign in select districts against the virus that causes the most lethal form of diarrhoea.

The virus causes severe and frequent vomiting and diarrhoea, leading to rapid dehydration and death.

The extremely contagious disease spreads through fecal-oral transmission and causes 80,000 deaths annually and 8 lakh hospitalisations.

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