'WHO eases rules on India made meningitis vaccine'
According to researchers, the meningitis A vaccine known as MenAfriVac, created to meet the needs of Africa's meningitis belt, can now be kept in a controlled temperature chain (CTC) at temperatures of up to 40 Degree Celsius for up to four days.
Costing less than USD 0.50 per dose, the innovative vaccine that is manufactured by Serum Institute of India Ltd. (SIIL) has dramatically reduced disease burden in the first countries to introduce it, according to recently-published findings.
The decision could help increase campaign efficiency and coverage and save funds normally spent maintaining the challenging cold chain during the "last mile" of vaccine delivery.
The outcome of the review and decisions of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), supported by a Health Canada analysis and confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Vaccines Pre-qualification Programme, was revealed during the ASTMH conference in Atlanta by Godwin Enwere, medical director for the Meningitis Vaccine Project.
The regulatory approval has the effect of permitting the re-labelling of MenAfriVac, while ensuring that the vaccine remains effective and safe throughout its life cycle.
MenAfriVac is the first vaccine designed specifically to help health workers eliminate meningococcal A epidemics from Africa's "meningitis belt," which includes 26 countries from Senegal to Ethiopia.
"The potential for some vaccines to remain safely outside the cold chain for short periods of
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