Telangana: Shantha Biotechnics supplies 20 mn doses of polio vaccine

The company said in a statement that Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus and one in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis (usually in the legs).

Hyderabad: Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, on Tuesday said its affiliate Shantha Biotechnics has completed delivery of 20 million doses of Inactivated Polio Vaccine ShanIPV to the Indian government.

ShanIPV is the only Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) to be locally manufactured and provided to the Indian Government. Laxma Reddy, Minister for Health, Medical and Family Welfare flagged off the final shipment from Shantha Biotechnics’ manufacturing site in Medchal, Telangana.

The company said in a statement that Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus and one in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis (usually in the legs).

Among those paralysed, 5 per cent to 10 per cent die when their breathing muscles become immobilised. There is no cure for polio- it can only be prevented by vaccination.

Jean-Pierre Baylet, country head, Sanofi Pasteur (South Asia), said, “Since 2015, after one of the most extensive public health campaign in history, Sanofi Pasteur is supporting the Government’s efforts to keep India polio-free with millions of doses of ShanIPV and Imovax Polio. Today, every second baby in India is being vaccinated with one of the two Sanofi Pasteur’s Inactivated Polio Vaccines (IPV).”

According to the GPEI (Global Polio Eradication Initiative) Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018, introducing at least one dose of IPV in current polio eradication programmes and completely switching from OPV to IPV in the next few years, is critical to ending polio transmission and improving immunization rates. India is currently in its fourth year of being polio free and its sixth, since the last reported polio case.

Dr. Shailesh Ayyangar, MD-India and Head – South Asia, Sanofi, said, “The most significant impact that Sanofi has made on healthcare in India is by supporting the Government’s efforts to eradicate polio. Sanofi Pasteur, through its affiliate, Shantha Biotechnics, was the first company to partner with the Indian Government, directly and via the UNICEF, in supplying IPV to achieve the goal of a polio-free world.”

For the past 25 years, Sanofi Pasteur, along with the WHO’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), Rotary International, UNICEF, the GAVI Alliance, and more recently, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has played a role in slashing the number of polio cases by 99 per cent, the company said.

 

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