The National Institute for Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in India has successfully completed the trial of an Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) here on Saturday.
In 2006, the NICED reformulated the composition of a particular double dose OCV, which was produced in Sweden and later in Vietnam.
The Oral Cholera Vaccine named Shanchol has been approved in India, based on the results of a trial on 110,000 human subjects conducted in Kolkata by the NICED.
The Kolkata trials found the Oral Cholera Vaccine provides over 70 percent protection, and additionally, there is no decline in protection for over two years.
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), a body which has the sanction of the World Health Organisation (WHO), has approved the vaccine.
“Cholera is a disease of the poor; it does affect higher socio-economic people but mainly it is a disease of the poor and these poor people do not have proper access to water sanitation, proper access to healthcare, and so we think that a vaccine would be very helpful for people like this,” said Dipika Sur, Deputy Director of NICED.
“This vaccine has been produced by internationally recognized Indian manufacturer called Shantha Biotechnics and the vaccine has been named as Shanchol. It is a two-dose vaccine. This vaccine is available commercially but our intension as a research organisation is to bring it into the public health programme, so that the poor people who need it most can have access to it,” she added.
Shanchol was commercially launched in January 2010. Though the vaccine is available at an affordable price, it is yet to be introduced in the public health policy.
“The vaccine is available at an affordable price. Initially, the vaccine which was developed in Sweden was very expensive and we did not want to do the trial with it, but when it was reformulated in Vietnam, it became much less expensive, and that is why we decided that we can take up this project because if this vaccine comes into the market,” said Sur.
Sur further said that NICED is in its fourth year of trial to find out when the booster dose can be given. (ANI)