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Nipping in the bud: Vaccines and Diagnostics

news_vaccine_indian_kids1When Edward Jenner wrote the paper “Inquiry into the Variolae vaccinae known… [as]… the Cow Pox” in 1798, he created a revolution in the medical world which we may have forgotten, as vaccination has become so routine. Jenner described the protective effect of cowpox against smallpox.

In 1881, to honour Jenner, Louis Pasteur proposed that the terms should be extended to cover the new protective inoculations then being developed.

And yet, vaccination and diagnostics remain a constant and vibrant area of biomedical research, with the new Holy Grail being vaccination against cancer and HIV/AIDS.

Vaccines are the most effective public health tool that provide safe, cost effective and efficient means of preventing morbidity and mortality and constitute critical component of a national health security.

The journey so far

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has made concerted efforts in the area of vaccine research and development since its inception in 1986-87 through the Task Force on Medical Biotechnology, Indo-US Vaccine Action Programme (VAP), National Technology Mission on Immunisation and National Jai-Vigyan Mission on Science and Technology for the generation of new and improved vaccines and more recently through the Vaccine Grand Challenge Programme (VGCP).

While producing the cheapest rotavirus vaccine in the world remains an unique achievement of the DBT, and stands out as a golden example of an unique social innovation public-private partnership with global partners. Much work is also being done on tuberculosis, malaria, kala azar, dengue and so on.

Vaccine research and development as well as clinical trials are being implemented through …

    • Indo-US Vaccine Action Programme (VAP)—bilateral programme that supports a broad spectrum of activities relating to new and improved vaccines
    • Vaccine Grand Challenge Programme (VGCP) which encourages novel and innovative vaccine related discoveries, accelerated development of candidate vaccines for which earlier leads are available, research of basic & applied nature to improvise our current understanding of vaccine science and strengthens the scientific basis for future vaccine design.
    • Significant achievements

Low cost rotavirus vaccine

Malaria vaccine

Dengue Vaccine

Tuberculosis vaccine

Task Force on Vaccines and Diagnostics


Programme Officer

Dr Jyoti Malik Logani

Email: jyoti.logani[at]