Hyd firm donates vaccine to control typhoid outbreak in Pakistan

Hyd firm donates vaccine to control typhoid outbreak in Pakistan

An Indian vaccine manufacturer has donated 50,000 doses of its typhoid vaccine to Pakistan to control a deadly outbreak of the disease in the neighbouring nation.

Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech would shortly be sending another 2,00,000 doses of its Typbar TCV vaccine to Pakistan's Hyderabad province that has been battling for the past eight months a severe drug resistant version of the disease, which killed hundreds of children.

"We donated the first 50,000 doses of the vaccine that was shipped in November. Pakistan authorities bought the subsequent doses that would be despatched on January 10," Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech told DH.

For the better part of 2017, the Pakistan province grappled with a serious form of typhoid outbreak that could not be tackled even with third generation antibiotics like ceftriaxone.

That was the time when Karachi-based Aga Khan University Hospital got in touch with Bharat Biotech for the vaccine.

This is not the first time the Indian vaccine was used in an emergency situation. Earlier, Malaysian authorities purchased it to control an outbreak of typhoid in adults that began with food contamination.

The single dose vaccine is available for adults and children. The company, however, sells only the paediatric dose in the Indian market at a cost of nearly Rs 1,500.

The World Health Organisation has now given its pre-qualification certification to the Indian vaccine, enabling its procurement by the UN agencies like UNICEF as well as Pan-American Health Organisation and Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI).

Clinically proven

In October 2017, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunisation, which advises WHO, recommended TCV for routine use in children over 6 months of age in typhoid endemic countries. Within weeks, GAVI board approved $85 million in funding for TCVs from 2019. "We expect the first introductions to take place as soon as the first half of 2019. One of the main barriers in controlling typhoid has been the availability of a vaccine that is effective in young children. This vaccine will be a game-changer," said Seth Berkley, chief executive officer of GAVI.

Typbar TCV is the first typhoid vaccine clinically proven for administration  in  children from 6 months of age up to adults and confers long term protection against typhoid fever. Results of the first clinical trial of the vaccine, published in October, showed it was safe, well-tolerated and could give protection against the infection.

 

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