Rotavirus: India unveils cheap Rotavac diarrhoea vaccine

File photo of Indian children suffering from diarrhoea Rotavirus kills more than 100,000 children in India every year

Related Stories

Scientists in India have unveiled a new low-cost vaccine against a deadly virus that kills about half a million children around the world each year.

Rotavirus causes dehydration and severe diarrhoea and spreads through contaminated hands and surfaces and is rampant in Asia and Africa.

India says clinical trials show the new vaccine, Rotavac, can save the lives of thousands of children annually.

An Indian manufacturer said the vaccine would cost 54 rupees ($1; £0.65).

International pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and Merck produce similar vaccines but each dose costs around 1,000 rupees.

"This is an important scientific breakthrough against rotavirus infections, the most severe and lethal cause of childhood diarrhoea, responsible for approximately 100,000 deaths of small children in India each year," India's Department of Biotechnology official K Vijay Raghavan said.

"The clinical results indicate that the vaccine, if licensed, could save the lives of thousands of children each year in India," he added.

Rotavac will be made by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech. The company said it could mass-produce tens of millions of doses after clearance is given, expected in eight or nine months.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More India stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

Programmes

  • (File photo) A man dressed as Father Christmas with a sleigh and a reindeer Click Watch

    A website which tracks Father Christmas, plus other sites and apps to keep you entertained

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.