Hyderabad-based pharma major Bharat Biotech on Wednesday said that Nigeria has introduced its rotavirus oral vaccine (called ROTAVAC) to immunise its children from the life-threatening diarrheal disease which currently accounts for 14 per cent of all childhood rotavirus deaths globally.
ROTAVAC received World Health Organization (WHO)-Prequalification in January 2018. Bharat Biotech developed the first generation, rotavirus vaccine, ROTAVAC, under a Public-Private Partnership with the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, and 16 other international partners, making it the largest ever social innovation project for public health.
Nigeria has the second-highest number of rotavirus deaths in the world. Rotavirus infection causes about 50,000 child fatalities under the age of five each year in Nigeria.
“Decades of research and product development have resulted in ROTAVAC. This vaccine is now available in several countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East,” said Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech, adding that ROTAVAC is safe and effective at preventing diarrheal disease caused by the Rotavirus.
“Bharat Biotech will continue to play its role in researching, developing, and manufacturing novel vaccines, to lower the morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases and contribute towards the achievement of universal vaccine access,” Ella said.
Rotavirus is one of the leading causes of diarrheal disease in the world and is responsible for over 40 per cent of diarrhea in children. It accounts for about 215,000 of the 525,000-under-5 mortality worldwide each year that are attributed to diarrheal diseases, making it the most common cause of severe diarrhea.
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