In line with his policy of healthy India, Narendra Modi launched Rotavirus vaccine Rotavac. Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech did research on this vaccine. It is one of the first novel vaccines launched in a developing country like India. It will reduce infant death related to Rotavirus and diarrhea. The chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech, Krishna Ella felt proud to have developed it in India. This demonstrates that India can invent new things and solve its own problems.

The cost of Rotavac is $1 to governments for low-income countries. It is an affordable and effective vaccine. It protects an individual from various types of Rotavirus strains. The company invested over Rs.400 crore for this product development. Approximately Rs.100 crore have been spent in manufacturing of this vaccine. Genome Valley in Hyderabad has started manufacturing it. They have a target of producing 300 million doses per year. This is a great example for others to follow.

A total of 300 scientists worked on this ambitious project. It took 15 years to make this project successful. The partners for this technology are the Department of Biotechnology, Bharat Biotech and many organizations of India and abroad. Narendra Modi is always holding meeting with scientists in regard to innovation and development of India. Bharat Biotech proposed to sell Rotavac for Rs.63 per dose. India and other low-income countries will get this vaccine at this rate. They have received four global patents for the technology. The Rotavac vaccine will be distributed in 20 countries.

Over 450,000 deaths worldwide occurs due to Rotavirus diarrhea. This includes 110,000 deaths in India. The infant mortality is still very high because of malnutrition and lack of proper treatment facility for the underprivileged. People who do not have two square meals a day cannot be expected to spend on medicine.

This is the first rotavirus vaccine made in India. Over 10 lakh hospitalization occurs due to rotavirus. Under the age of 5, 80,000 children die due to Rotavirus.

ROTAVAC vaccine has 3 doses. It is developed by the joint efforts of India and the United States. Sri Modi expected the vaccine would help in research of advanced level. He appreciated the successful collaboration of India and the U.S in medical research. It will benefit the ordinary citizen. In our country, many talented scientists go abroad because research facilities are not adequate in India. Narendra Modi is trying to correct this situation.

We are proud to have a vaccine invented, developed and made in India. It will contribute to the development of “Make in India” initiative. This is a public-private partnership model. The Ministry of Science and Technology, institutions of the U.S. government, various government institutions and NGOs in India worked on this project. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are supporters of this project on rotavirus vaccine.

Harry Greenberg is an Associate Dean at Stanford University. This project has been named as “beautiful example of the great power of team science.”

The first indigenous rotavirus vaccine consists of a complete cycle. It starts from fundamental research to development of the product. According to PMO, it is an advanced vaccine in India.

Sri Modi claimed that this research on vaccine shows the capability of India in high-end research and development. We are capable of manufacturing advanced pharmaceutical products in India. It is a successful Public-Private-Partnership. You can find solutions to challenges of society.

The research has been funded by the Government of India. US Government institutions like the National Institute of Health supported this research. The Gates Foundation and Bharat Biotech India Limited made a contribution in product testing and development.

In 1997-1998, Bharat Biotech India Limited involved in development and production of the vaccine. It was chosen by India-US Vaccine Action Programme. It followed standard government procedure.

It is an important scientific discovery against rotavirus infection. It is the most severe and deadly cause of childhood diarrhea. Every year approximately 100,000 small children die in India. Dr K. Vijay Raghavan attended the press in 2013.

A lot of health damage is caused by this virus. It causes emotional stress to families. It also causes a lot of medical expenses. People could hardly afford previous vaccines. A positive role is played by the vaccine. We felicitate the Indian researchers for their recent achievement. We would like to see success stories in the future. Dr. Krishna Ella is the CMD of Bharat Biotech and he wants to make this vaccine affordable globally. Over 25 years of hard work has helped Bharat Biotech to develop the vaccine.

The production unit at Genome Valley, Hyderabad produces 300 million doses every year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the solutions available in India. It can be quite relevant for the whole world. It is suitable for developing countries like India.The impact on public health of this vaccine is far reaching. It prevents childhood mortality and morbidity. A review is made about the safety and usefulness of available vaccines. National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) in India advised about the launch of Rotavirus vaccine in the Universal Immunization Program (UIP). The historic policy of Government of India was to introduce Rotavirus vaccine. In July, three other life-saving vaccines were launched.

ROTAVAC® is a collaborative work across nations like USA, India and Norway. The Indian Ministry of Science & Technology, Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Health (USA), Bharat Biotech India Limited, PATH, Society of Applied Studies also participated in this project. It is a step for saving lives. It ensured a healthy future for children.

It is a brilliant example of “Make in India” launched by Sri Narendra Modi. This is a great example of Narendra Modi’s idea that Indian talents should be harnessed for the growth and development of Indian people. – Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Bikaash.



Contributor: Pratanu Banerjee