• Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) unveiled India’s first indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine.
• SII is also the maker of Covishield, the Indian version of the AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine.
• SII’s pneumococcal vaccine, Pneumosil, was developed through a collaboration spanning over a decade with the health organisation PATH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
• The vaccine targets the pneumococcal bacterium, which causes pneumonia and other serious life-threatening diseases such as meningitis and sepsis, and is estimated to cause nearly four lakh deaths in children under five years of age each year worldwide.
• Vaccine will ensure that children are protected better against pneumococcal disease.
• Pneumococcal disease is a significant contributor under-five mortality rate worldwide and cause nearly four lakh deaths in children each year worldwide.
Mains Paper 2: Health
Prelims level: Pneumosil disease