In an important medical leap, India unveiled its first indigenously developed vaccine for treating Japanese Encephalitis, a mosquito-borne viral disease that affects the brain. The manufacturer of the vaccine named JENVAC claims that the highly purified inactivated vaccine can be administered during epidemics without the fear of adverse effects.
JENVAC is available in both single dose and five dose presentations. The vaccine has been developed under the Public Private Partnership mode.
Launching the vaccine in New Delhi, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said its development is a remarkable milestone in the emergence of India as an innovative and self-sufficient technology hub. He said it will enable the country to fight with the deadly virus which causes hundreds of deaths every year.
Japanese Encephalitis is prevalent in 171 districts of 19 States, affects mostly children below 15 years. About 25 per cent of the affected children die and among survivors, 30 to 40 per cent suffer from physical and mental impairment.
The indigenous production will now improve the efficacy, availability and affordability of the vaccine which is presently being imported from China.