Phase 3 clinical trials for the dengue vaccine will start in August; indigenous pharmaceutical companies will work with the ICMR.
India is getting closer to producing its first dengue vaccine after local pharmaceutical companies Serum Institute of India (SII) and Panacea Biotech submitted applications to work with the Indian Institute of Medical Research (ICMR) on Phase-3 trials.
The studies, which are scheduled to start in August of this year, will reportedly be used to assess the manufacturers' tetravalent dengue vaccine's immunogenicity, safety, and efficacy.
Phase-1 trials for the vaccine were done in September of last year. Another dengue vaccine is also undergoing phase 1/2 paediatric studies, for which the ICMR and the SII have a memorandum of understanding.
A virus called dengue, often known as break-bone fever, is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes and is responsible for a sizable number of fatalities worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that between 100 and 400 million dengue illnesses occur year, putting roughly half of the world's population at risk.
The National Institute for Vector Borne Diseases Control reported 1,93,245 dengue infections and 346 fatalities nationwide in 2021. More than 30,000 people got dengue last year, and that number increased during the heaviest rainy season.
Dengue cases often increase from July to November each year, primarily due to water logging and unclean locations. The peak of the illness follows the monsoon since it has a seasonal rhythm.
A female Aedes mosquito bite is how the dengue virus is spread. Aedes only flies during the day and has a maximum altitude of 400 metres. Whenever the temperature drops below 16 degrees, dengue mosquitoes are unable to reproduce.
Throughout the next two years, the vaccine is anticipated to become widely available. According to experts, it will lessen hospitalisation costs, dengue cases, and most critically, fatalities.
There is now no known cure for dengue, thus the ICMR stated in a statement that "there is an urgent need to develop effective vaccines against dengue viral illness."