New Delhi: Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare today inaugurated India’s first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). The vaccine “Pneumosil” has been developed by the Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL) in collaboration with partners like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Recognizing SIIPLas the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by number of doses and its contribution to India’s economy, Dr. Harsh Vardhan remarked that Serum Institute’s Vaccines are used in 170 countries and every third child in the world is immunized with the manufacturer’s Vaccine. He reminded the audience that SIIPL developed and got license of first indigenous Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) from Government of India during COVID-19 pandemic lock-downin line with Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi ji’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. He also mentioned about the extraordinary efforts of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in this endeavour to make Indiaself-reliantin PCV.
Detailing the achievements of SIIPL in tailoring a vaccine for India’s needs, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “Serum Institute’s first Indigenous Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine will be available in the market under brand name “Pneumosil” at an affordable price in single dose (vial and pre-filled syringe) and Multidose (vial) presentations.Pneumosil has been extensively evaluated in 5 randomized controlled clinical trials and has demonstrated comparable safety and immunogenicity against licensed pneumococcal vaccines across diverse populations of India and Africa, where Pneumosil was administered to adults, toddlers and infants using different vaccination schedules.”“During clinical trials, Pneumosilwas found to be safe and effective in the prevention of Pneumonia disease and based on which Pneumosil has been licensed by Drugs Controller General (India) in July 2020 after approval from Subject Expert Committee (SEC),” he added.
Speaking on the Prime Minister’s commitment of Atmanirbhar Bharat and his vision of ‘Making In India for the World’, Dr. Harsh Vardhan noted, “Pneumosil is an example of India’s capability in Research & Development & manufacturing high end sophisticated Vaccines. In fact, it is matter of pride for our country for this historical milestone during COVID-19 Pandemic because till now we are fully dependent on Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine manufactured by Foreign Manufacturers which are available at very high prices.” He took the occasion to remind the audience that Pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death among children under five years of age worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 lakhs deaths globally.
Congratulating the country’s scientific and medical fraternity, the minister said, “I am sure thatthe team of Serum Institute of India and others in the entire scientific and medical community will continue their endeavour to develop many more life-saving vaccines in future.”
Dr. Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary (MoHFW) and other senior officials of the Ministry were present at the event.
Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla, Chairman, Poonawalla Group of Industries and Founder, Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL), Shri Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer,SIIPL were also present.