Sanofi Ships Injectable Polio Vaccine to India

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, will ship its first shipment of ShanIPV, a brand new injectable, inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) manufactured by its affiliate, Shantha Biotechnics, in Hyderabad, India, shortly, marking the official introduction of IPV in India’s national immunization schedule, to supplement the established “drops on sugar” of oral polio vaccine (OPV). Sanofi Pasteur and its affiliate Shantha Biotechnics will together produce most of India’s IPV supply.

Only two countries in the world are still classified as polio endemic, meaning that wild polio virus passes routinely between members of the community. However, great progress has been made in both countries and the last case of polio in the world may possibly be only months away.

OPV has been instrumental in ending polio cases in India and has been used across the world to reduce the number of cases of polio by over 99% in the past 20 years. Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the live OPV be supplemented and then replaced by an inactivated IPV. OPV and IPV stimulate the body’s immune system in slightly different ways, so children who receive both should be even better protected against the disease.

The universal introduction of IPV, a vaccine that has been used in many countries of the world for years, is a necessary step towards achieving a polio-free world by 2019, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) Endgame Strategic Plan. Today, more than 110 countries have introduced IPV in their immunization calendars. Sanofi Pasteur has been a partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for over 20 years.

In February 2014, Sanofi Pasteur, the world’s largest producer of IPV, according to the company and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a joint price support mechanism, including a financial contribution from both organizations. The mechanism allows Gavi, a public-private partnership focused on vaccines, to make IPV available for inclusion in the routine immunization schedules in 73 of the world’s poorest countries.

Source: Sanofi Pasteur

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