Bharat Biotech has begun chikungunya vaccine Phase I trial

The Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has begun a Phase I human clinical trial of the indigenously developed chikungunya vaccine three months ago. The vaccine uses a killed virus. The Phase I trial will test mainly for safety and the ability of the vaccine to provoke an immune response in the body. The higher the immune response... Continue Reading →

Seventy-year journey of Zika virus

Zika is an arbovirus infection which occurs through the bite of several different species of Aedes mosquitoes, including the Aedes aegypti which is active during the day; it can also be transmitted sexually. The virus was first isolated from a rhesus monkey in Uganda in the Zika forest, near the western shore of Lake Victoria,... Continue Reading →

The big test for malaria vaccine RTS,S

Beginning next year, the World Health Organisation will begin pilot tests of the injectable malaria vaccine RTS,S (or Mosquirix) on 750,000 children aged 5-17 months in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. The vaccine has been successfully put through a Phase III trial, in which the drug is tested for safety and efficacy. Any decision on wider... Continue Reading →

Zika vaccine Phase I trial to begin next month in India

Bharat Biotech International Ltd in Hyderabad will start a Phase I clinical trial of Zika virus vaccine (MR 766) in two centres in India next month. The inactivated  vaccine being tested in humans will be an African Zika virus strain. “We have already got the approval from DCGI [Drug Controller General of India] in March... Continue Reading →

Bharat Biotech’s Zika virus vaccine confers 100% protection in mice

The Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s killed (inactivated) Zika virus vaccine using an African strain (MR 766) has shown 100% efficacy against mortality and disease in animal studies. A ‘killed virus vaccine’ or ‘inactivated vaccine’ contains virus that has been grown in culture and then killed using physical or chemical processes. The whole virus was used for... Continue Reading →

TB vaccine trial on adults begins in June in India

In June this year, the Pune-based Serum Institute of India Pvt Limited will begin a Phase II/III vaccine trial for tuberculosis using a novel, recombinant BCG (bacillus Calmette-Guérin) vaccine. The double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial will be carried out on 2,000 adults who have been successfully treated (and cured) for TB. While 1,000 adults will receive... Continue Reading →

Can health spending of 2.5% of GDP only by 2025 help achieve the goals set by India’s National Health Policy?

The long awaited National Health Policy announced a few days ago proposes to raise public health expenditure as a percentage of GDP from the current 1.15% to 2.5% by 2025. The resource allocation to individual States will be linked with their development indicators, absorptive capacity and financial indicators. “There will be higher weightage given to... Continue Reading →

WHO’s website for vaccine safety information gains traction

The extent to which rumours about the safety of vaccines can impact the number of children vaccinated was witnessed in Tamil Nadu during the measles-rubella vaccination drive last month. Only about 50% of 17.6 million children between nine months and 15 years age in the State were vaccinated at the end of the campaign period... Continue Reading →

Low measles-rubella vaccination coverage may cause more cases of congenital rubella syndrome

Only about 50 per cent of children aged nine months to 15 years in Tamil Nadu have been vaccinated by the measles-rubella combination vaccine since the campaign was launched. Unless and otherwise the vaccination coverage is increased to over 90%, there is a high possibility that the State would witness more rubella infections among older... Continue Reading →

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