India Introduces Its Own $1 Rotavirus Vaccine

Thursday, March 12, 2015

On March, 9, India introduced its first ever indigenously produced vaccine for the Rotavirus.

According to The Better India, Rotavirus is one of the most common causes of diarrhea in children, which can lead to both hospitalization and death.

The virus kills nearly 80,000 children under the age of five every year in India, and an estimated 450,000 children around the world.

According to The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, nearly every child on Earth is infected with the Rotavirus at least once by the age of five.

While vaccines for the Rotavirus have been around for decades, India’s latest invention vastly improves upon the cost associated with the vaccine. In fact, India’s version of the vaccine will cost a mere $1.

According to the CDC, RotaTeq, America’s version of the vaccine, cost $75 for 1 dose. Another vaccine, Rotarix, can cost over $106. Prior to the new vaccine, international vaccines were sold in India at around $17 a dose.

The innovation came after a public-private collaboration involving more than 300 scientists along with, “a partnership between the Ministry of Science and Technology, institutions of the US government and various Indian government institutions and NGOs,” according to The Better India.

The vaccine initiative was also supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Vaccines work to save and protect children from diseases like rotavirus for a lifetime,” Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in a press statement released in 2013. “This public-private partnership is an exemplary model of how to develop affordable technologies that save lives.”

Source: RYOT News (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
public-private partnerships, vaccines