Pneumosil: India’s First Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

India’s first indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine ‘Pneumosil’ has been unveiled by the Serum Institute of India (SII). The Pune-based SII is the largest vaccine manufacturer in terms of doses in the world. SII is also the maker of the Indian version of the AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine- Covishield.

Key Points

  • Pneumosil has been developed through collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and health organization PATH.
  • Pneumosil has been launched by the Union Health Minister virtually.
  • Pneumosil targets the pneumococcal bacterium, which is the causal agent for pneumonia and other diseases like sepsis and meningitis.
  • Around 4 lakh deaths in children less than 5 years of age are caused by pneumococcal bacterium every year worldwide.
  • Pneumosil will be available in the market in a single dose (vial and prefilled syringe) and multidose (vial) presentations at an affordable price.
  • Pneumococcal vaccines are very helpful in reducing deaths through Pneumococcal diseases but people are mostly unable to afford them but the PCV of SII is affordable for people.
  • Many trials were conducted for Pneumosil and based on the results; it has been licensed by the Drugs Controller General of India in July 2020.

Due to the fatality of Pneumococcal disease, in 2018, the World Health Organization also recommended including pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in routine childhood immunization programmes in all countries.