ICMR launched 2 new TB vaccines, VPM 1002 and Immuvac

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has launched a trial for two new TB vaccines. This is the India’s first large-scale trial. This is a large preventive TB vaccine trial. The initiative involves more than twelve thousands healthy household contacts of newly diagnosed TB patients from across six states of India are set to be enrolled.

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Two thousand participants from each of the six states including Delhi, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Karnataka will enroll over the next seven to eight months. Also, seven main centres will have six sub-sites, where these trials will be conducted.

The two new vaccines:

The two new TB vaccines that are introduced by ICMR are:

♦ Immuvac manufactured by Cadila Pharmaceuticals

♦ VPM 1002 manufactured by Institute of India, Pune

The medicines are to be tested with three testing phases. Based on the results the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will decide and set the price of the vaccines.

Reason for ICMR’s new TB vaccines:

To treat TB multi-drug course that usually spans six months is usuallu involved. Scientists from ICMR suggested that new TB vaccines other than BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin), which is 100 years old, is needed to treat TB as it has been partially effective in protecting infants and young children and it provides poor protection against pulmonary disease in adolescents and adults.

About TB in India:

Data from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s Central TB division said that the TB incidence in India has touched almost 2.8 million every year along with drug-resistant TB incidence at 1,47,000 annually. It also said that around 27% of the world’s TB incidences are from India. It has marked the highest share at a global level. In 2017, the Centre vowed to eliminate TB by the year 2025.

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