Despite the availability of vaccines against the life-threatening disease, typhoid fever still remains a major public health problem around the world. One of the reasons for this is that currently available vaccines, like Bharat's own Vi typhoid vaccine, fall short in offering long term protection and fail to protect infants under the age of 2.
Indian firm Bharat Biotech have launched the âWorld's first clinically proven typhoid conjugate vaccine' that could slash the number of typhoid fever infections per year – a figure that currently stands at 20 million. The Hyderabad-based biotech's fourth generation vaccine, branded Typbar-TCV, is said to address the current vaccine shortcomings by providing long term protection to adults and infants from 6 months of age. Typbar-TCV is the result of an eight-year research and development effort, and is reportedly the first typhoid conjugate vaccine to get a license following a full-scale clinical trial process.
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They say that prevention is better than the cure, and this seems to be the case for typhoid fever in India. While poor diagnostics and an increasing resistance to antibiotics means that typhoid fever still remains at large, prevention with vaccines could have an important role to play in reducing the burden of disease. Dr Christian Loucq, M.D., Director-General of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) said "At present fundamental prevention strategies like improved sanitation, good hygienic practices and access to clean water are still out of reach for many impoverished communities. One of the most cost effective approaches to prevent infectious diseases are vaccines, which are available now and could help control the disease resulting in reduction of unnecessary suffering and adverse financial consequences."
Bharat Biotech has fired up commercial production of Typbar-TCV in its vaccine production facility in Hyderabad. The plant, sited in the Genome Valley biotech hub, has the capacity to produce 10 million doses each year.
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