Pune's Serum Institute of India (SII) will start supplying Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) to the Union government for the Universal Immunisation Programme from this month, becoming the first Indian company to do so, official sources told Press Trust of India on Tuesday.
The Union Health Ministry has recently placed a purchase order with SII for 54 lakh doses of IPV vaccine. So far, the government was dependent on Sanofi, a foreign pharmaceutical company for supplying IPV to the universal immunisation programme.
"I wish to inform you that our firm, Serum Institute of India has become the first Indian manufacturer to supply Inactivated Poliomyelitis Vaccine (IPV) to MoHFW which will protect children of our country from Poliomyelitis disease," Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at SII communicated to the Health Ministry recently.
The IPV of SII is World Health Organisation pre-qualified for supplies to various countries worldwide also. The Union Health Ministry has also placed an order with Sanofi for the supply of 36 lakh doses of IPV.
"It is a matter of pride for all of us that in addition to many other life-saving vaccines as well as COVID-19 vaccines, our country is now 'Atmanirbar' (self-reliant) for Inactivated Poliomyelitis Vaccine (IPV) also and we are moving ahead on the lines of the clarion call of our Prime Minister's 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'," Mr Singh said in his letter.
The first lot of IPV will be supplied to GMSD (Government Medical Stores Depot) this month shortly for the vaccination programme as per the requirement of the Health Ministry.
"The supply of IPV from first Indian company i.e. Serum Institute of India has become possible because of your kind guidance, support of Team MoHFW, farsighted vision of our CEO, Dr Adar C Poonawalla along with relentless efforts of team SIIPL during COVID-19 pandemic," Singh stated in the communication.
India was officially declared polio-free in 2014, but the immunisation programme continues in the country.
IPV has been introduced in the Universal Immunisation Programme as part of the Global Polio end-game strategy, to mitigate the risk associated with the trivalent oral polio vaccine to bivalent oral polio vaccine switch.
IPV was introduced in November 2015 initially in six states, which was expanded across the country by April 2016.
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