Life or death for a young child too often depends on whether he or she is born in a country where vaccines are available or not
A miracle in the making! We often forget that innovations over the years in vaccines have led to the protection of human beings against deadly infectious diseases, many of which our ancestors succumbed to for over thousands of years. After safe clean drinking water, immunisation is touted as one of the most cost-effective public health interventions that is largely responsible for the reduction of mortality and morbidity rates caused by infectious diseases.
Vaccines continue to revolutionize our ability to prevent disease and improve health. With every technological advance, we are able to extend the benefits of vaccines to more people and provide better protection from life-threatening infectious diseases. As part of our commitment towards providing best healthcare solutions, we are proud to have introduced some of the world’s most innovative high-quality vaccines to India.
Following the introduction of pertussis vaccination during the 1950s–1960s, a dramatic reduction (>90%) in pertussis incidence and mortality was observed in the industrialized world.2 Today, two forms of vaccines are used to fight the disease - the whole-cell vaccine, and the acellular vaccine.2 Whole-cell vaccines which were developed first, contain the entire organism that has been inactivated.2 Over time, acellular pertussis vaccines, which contain the purified component of the organism (that are specifically responsible for causing the disease), were developed.2
Since acellular vaccines contain purified components of an organism, they result in lesser reaction (fever, rashes, etc.) post vaccination, while improving comfort for children. Acellular pertussis vaccines are typically made available as combination vaccines that can protect against as many as 6 diseases, namely: Polio, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hep B and HiB in one shot.
In India, we were the first organization to introduce the innovative acellular pertussis combination vaccines that help improve compliance towards getting vaccinated.
Protecting against influenza
The most effective way to prevent the disease is vaccination.5
In 2017 Sanofi Pasteur confirmed its leadership by completing a production of over 200 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccines, i.e approximately 40% of the influenza vaccines distributed worldwide. In India, since over a decade, we have been striving to protect Indians against influenza. In fact, during the 2015 outbreak, we were one of the first organizations to the demand for influenza vaccination by various state governments across the country.
In 2018, India received its first Four-Strain Influenza Vaccine for population above 3 years of age. Quadrivalent influenza vaccines are the latest innovative prevention tools to provide broader protection against all four strains of influenza viruses.
Together against meningococcal meningitis
Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial form of meningitis, a serious infection of the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.6 Even when the disease is diagnosed early and adequate treatment is started, 8% to 15% of patients die, often within 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms.6 If untreated, meningococcal meningitis is fatal in 50% of cases and may result in brain damage, hearing loss or disability in 10% to 20% of survivors.
Meningococcal meningitis is the third most common cause of bacterial meningitis in India in children under 5 years and is responsible for an estimated 1.9% of all cases regardless of age.7
Unlike Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), meningococcal meningitis affects adults, as well as children.7 The Indian Armed Forces experience an attack rate of 9 to 10 cases of meningococcal disease per year and a meningococcal meningitis carrier rate of 11.9%. As a consequence, the military is considered a high-risk group in India.7
As a health partner, we introduced innovative solutions to prevent meningococcal meningitis adversely impacting lives in India. We are proud of striving to protect our protectors - ‘the Indian army’ and Indian babies against this deadly disease.
1CDC Pertussis (Whooping cough). Available at https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/ (Accessed April 2018)
2WHO Biologicals Pertussis. Available at http://www.who.int/biologicals/vaccines/pertussis/en/ (Accessed April 2018)
3Seasonal Influenza (H1N1)– State/UT- wise, Year- wise number of cases and death from 2010 to 2017 (till 31st December 2017). Available at: http://www.idsp.nic.in/showfile.php?lid=3908 (Accessed April 2018)
4WHO – Mediacentre Fact Sheets – Seasonal Influenza. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/ (Accessed April 2018)
5WHO – Influenza vaccines. Available at: http://www.who.int/influenza/vaccines/en/ (Accessed April 2018)
6WHO Factsheets on Meningococcal meningitis. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs141/en/ (Accessed April 2018)
7An overview of meningococcal disease in India: Knowledge gaps and potential solutions. Available at: https://ac.els-cdn.com/S0264410X13004222/1-s2.0-S0264410X13004222-main.pdf?_tid=24d5d055-e406-4f28-b314-99cbcbddd9ca&acdnat=1524567346_d710aea3be714fdd09921f8783d87c7d (Accessed April 2018)