Indian firm unveils latest typhoid shots

An Indian pharmaceutical firm said Thursday it would soon launch the world's first vaccine against typhoid which can be given to infants, protecting the most vulnerable victims of the illness.

Bharat Biotech, based in the southern city of Hyderabad, said it would also offer long-term protection of more than 10 years, unlike other vaccines which must be boosted with regular injections.

"This is the world's first clinically-proven vaccine for children of six months and above," spokeswoman Sheela Panicker told AFP.

The World Health Organisation says the food- and water-borne disease kills 600,000 people a year and infects an estimated 17 million, mainly children. Ninety percent of such cases are reported in Asia.

"Available typhoid vaccines do not offer long-term protection and booster doses are required every three years, and also they do not offer protection to children aged below two years," Panicker added.

Indian have given their go-ahead to the "fourth-generation" vaccine, which can also be taken by adults, and it is expected to be launched in the next two weeks.

Panicker said the firm would decide its cost depending on the volume after its launch. Production capacity was currently 10 million doses per year, she said.

In May Biotech unveiled a low-cost vaccine against a deadly diarrhoea-causing virus that kills some 100,000 children in India every year.

Rotavirus, which causes severe diarrhoea, is globally responsible for some 453,000 deaths annually and is particularly dangerous in the developing world where swift health care is often out of reach.

India has also been a powerhouse in developing to treat diseases such as cancer, tuberculosis and AIDS for those who cannot afford expensive branded versions across the developing world.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

India announces low-cost rotavirus vaccine (Update)

May 14, 2013

The Indian government announced Tuesday the development of a new low-cost vaccine proven effective against a diarrhea-causing virus that is one of the leading causes of childhood deaths across the developing world.

Pfizer sells key vaccine cheaply to poor countries

Jul 29, 2013

Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. has agreed to provide hundreds of millions of doses of its lucrative vaccine against pneumonia and meningitis at a fraction of the usual price for young children in poor countries.

Rotavirus vaccine given to newborns in Africa is effective

Jun 17, 2013

Mayo Clinic and other researchers have shown that a vaccine given to newborns is at least 60 percent effective against rotavirus in Ghana. Rotavirus causes fever, vomiting and diarrhea, which in infants can cause severe dehydration. ...

Recommended for you

Big cities take aim at prescription painkillers

Sep 16, 2014

Some of the nation's largest cities are ratcheting up their criticism of prescription painkillers, blaming the industry for a wave of addiction and overdoses that have ravaged their communities and busted local budgets.

World Health Organization policy improves use of medicines

Sep 16, 2014

In this issue of PLOS Medicine, Kathleen Holloway from WHO and David Henry (University of Toronto, Canada) evaluated data on reported adherence to WHO essential medicines practices and measures of quality use of medicines from 5 ...

User comments