Pfizer announced that its 13-valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine has been selected for inclusion in India's immunization program in select states. In the first phase, the program will cover approximately 5.15 million babies - 20 percent of around 26 million children of India's birth cohort.
Globally, pneumococcal disease is one of the leading causes of deaths in
children younger than 5 years of age. In India, according to the Farooqui article published in 2015, approximately 105,000 children had died of pneumococcal pneumonia in 2010.
The 13-valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV 13) is the most widely used pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in the world, with deployment in over 100 countries' immunization program. PCV 13 vaccine provides the broadest serotype coverage including those serotypes most prevalent in India.
Epidemiological studies conducted in India confirm that the PCV 13 vaccine provides higher coverage than any other PCV vaccine.
The additional strains that PCV 13 covers are 3, 6A and 19A.
"The Government of India has made reaching every child with vaccines as a key priority. With the introduction of PCV 13, we will able to help protect India's birth cohort of 26 million children from the leading cause of child deaths in the country. Pfizer remains committed to supporting the Government and its partners in expanding the introduction of PCV 13 in the country such that every child in India gets access to protection from pneumococcal diseases", said S. Sridhar, Country Manager, Pfizer India.
For the first phase, the vaccine will be supplied directly by Pfizer Inc. through UNICEF, under the auspices of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance's Advance Market Commitment - an innovative funding mechanism that provides Gavi eligible and Gavi graduated countries with access to advanced life-saving vaccines.
Pfizer Vaccines in the Developing World
Accelerating the availability of potentially life-saving vaccines around the world is a key component of Pfizer's commitment to providing global access to health care. Through its participation in international public-private programs, Pfizer provides its 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Prevenar 13®, to infants and young children in the developing world to help protect against invasive pneumococcal disease. Since 2010, more than 45 of Gavi eligible countries have launched pneumococcal immunization programs with Prevenar 13®, via the Advance Market Commitment.
With continued investment in research and development, Pfizer helps meet the challenges of the developing world by providing innovative manufacturing, storage, inventory management, and supply chain solutions.
Apart from partnering with Ministries of Health to support disease awareness campaigns, Pfizer also continues to develop and deliver educational materials to aid health care workers in the field and conducts surveillance studies to understand the impact of pneumococcal immunization programs on reducing the burden of disease.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)