The International Vaccine Institute (IVI), South Korea, has partnered with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) under the Department of Health Research and the Department of Health and Family Welfare of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), Government of India, to collaborate on vaccine research and development in the country.
A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in this regard was signed between Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Director General of ICMR and Secretary, Department of Health Research; Manoj Jhalani, Additional Secretary and Managing Director, National Health Mission and Dr Jerome H Kim, Director General of IVI, in New Delhi, on Monday.
“We have been working closely with IVI in India for more than a decade now. We are confident that this collaboration will elevate the vaccine R&D capacity at IVI as well as Indian labs and further benefit India’s vaccine industry,” Dr Swaminathan said on the occasion.
Under the MoU, collaborative research activities and training programmes between India and IVI will be undertaken to improve health outcomes for the world’s poor by improving vaccine access. The partnership will also accelerate capacity-building initiatives that will synergise with and benefit India’s vaccine industry, public health and immunisation programmes.
“India is a vaccine industry powerhouse that supplies 60 per cent of the world’s vaccines for vaccine preventable diseases and 60-80 per cent of annual UN vaccine purchases (2012). The signing of the MoU is a continuation of our partnership with India to provide safe, effective and affordable vaccines for people around the world,” said Dr Jerome H. Kim, Director General of IVI.
IVI has been partnering with Indian vaccine manufacturers, research institutes, government and public health agencies on vaccine development, research and training. One of the most successful collaborations was with Shantha Biotech on the development of Shanchol, the world’s first low-cost oral cholera vaccine. The vaccine was licensed in India in 2009 and WHO-prequalified in 2011.
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is the world’s only international organisation devoted exclusively to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines to protect the world’s poorest people, especially children in developing countries.
“We are pleased to make some financial contribution to help IVI achieve its mission. This partnership will help us better address the vaccine needs of our children in the country and ultimately contribute to protecting people from infectious diseases,” said Manoj Jhalani, Additional Secretary and Managing Director of the National Health Mission (NHM), MOHFW.