Sanofi Pasteur has launched ShanIPV, an injectable inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), to be delivered through UNICEF in India.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao launched the vaccine on Friday in Hyderabad. To be manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur’s affiliate Shantha Biotechnics in Hyderabad, ShanIPV is a trivalent inactivated, injectable polio vaccine.
The new IPV will be given at the age of 14 weeks for babies and it will be given in addition to the existing oral polio vaccine, said the company in a statement.
"With the introduction of IPV in the immunisation schedule, our Company is playing a key role in achieving the goal of a polio-free world," said Shailesh Ayyangar, Managing Director of Sanofi.
India is introducing one dose of IPV for babies in line with the WHO’s Global endgame strategy and it is a critical step towards achieving a polio-free world by 2019 to meet the Global Polio Eradication Initiative Endgame Strategic Plan, said the company.
India was declared a polio-free nation in 2014 and the next strategy is to keep the disease away forever with maximum care in vaccination of every new born baby.
While research on a viable and most effective polio vaccine is underway all over the world, early this year, scientists from Britain and the US revealed promising progress in a synthetic vaccine development at the University of Leeds without the viral genome but mimicking the structure of the live virus.
Such a vaccine would be quicker, easier and safer to produce. Even after the apparent global elimination of poliomyelitis, it will be necessary to continue vaccination as a precaution against re-introduction of the virus from hidden sources.
A synthetic vaccine would fulfil the role without the inherent danger of accidental release of virus associated with the production of current vaccines, said scientists at Leeds.
Eventually such vaccines could pave the way to completely eliminating the necessity to vaccinate.