When 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 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 …
Low cost rotavirus vaccine
Dr Jyoti Malik Logani