Scientists in India made news around the world on Tuesday when they announced that they had developed a low-cost vaccine that could prevent a severe form of diarrhea caused by rotavirus.
Indian company Bharat Biotech International manufactured the vaccine, in collaboration with the Indian government and nearly a dozen Indian and international partners.
At $1 per dose (for three doses), the oral vaccine Rotavac is a fraction of the cost of existing rotavirus vaccines and could go a long way to reducing childhood mortality. Globally, rotavirus leads to 435,000 deaths of children under the age of 5 each year – an estimated 100,000 of which are in India.
Diarrhea is India’s third leading cause of under-five death, according to the World Health Organization, and scientists say that around 30 percent of diarrhea is caused by rotavirus.