Hyderabad, Jan 24 : Bharat Biotech on Wednesday announced that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has awarded pre-qualification to its rotavirus vaccine ROTAVAC.
The vaccine to prevent infant deaths and hospitalisation due to rotavirus diarrhoea was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 and is one of the first novel vaccines to be developed completely by a developing country, the Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer said.
WHO pre-qualification is necessary for UN agencies and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to purchase the vaccine in partnership with developing countries and will help accelerate availability of the ROTAVAC to the developing countries with the highest burden of the disease.
India introduced ROTAVAC into its national immunization programme in 2016, with about 35 million doses delivered so far.
"The true impact of vaccines can be seen when vaccinations are carried out in affected populations.
The government of India has given a big boost by making ROTAVAC available to millions in India already," said Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech.
"Bharat Biotech's track record of life-saving vaccines is a testimony to the company's longstanding commitment to make affordable vaccines for the developing world.
ROTAVAC has been supplied to low-income countries at (Dollar) 1 per dose, with the feasibility for further 30 per cent price reductions, based on the procurement of around 100 million doses for these countries," Ella added.