Brazil, in the last week of October 2013 announced its plans to produce the low-cost rubella and measles vaccine for the purpose of export to the developing countries. Brazilian Health Minister, Alexandre Padilha announced that by the year 2017, 30 million doses annually will be supplied primarily to African, Latin American and Asian nations. This will be done in partnership with foundation of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
For this purpose, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, the top medical research facility of Brazil received a grant worth 1 million US Dollar from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The vaccine will be the most affordable one in the market and it will be first of all exported by Brazil. It is important to note that at present; only India produces the vaccines of these kinds.
About the new low-cost vaccine
• The new low-cost vaccine will be developed by the Bio-Manguinhos, which is a part of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), in Rio de Janeiro.
• The cost of this will be 0.54 US Dollar per dose.
• For the purpose of this new vaccine, new production plant will be set up at Rio de Janeiro.
It is worth noticing that Brazil at present, also exports vaccines for 75 countries but the vaccine for measles and rubella will be first of its kind produced exclusively for the purpose of export. Bio-Manguinhos, in the meanwhile, produces a combined vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella since the year 2003. However, the cost of this is very high for a lot of developing nations.
What is Measles?
• Measles is the infection which is caused by the virus that is usually acquired at the early childhood age.
• Measles is very contagious which spreads through sneezes and coughs.
• According to the World Health Organisation, measles kills 158000 people annually, most of which include children below the age of five years.
What is Rubella?
• Rubella is also a kind of measles. Infact, it is called German measles.
• Rubella, just like measles, is also caused because of a virus and is infectious from one person to another through sneezing or coughing.
• A pregnant woman acquiring rubella during first three months of pregnancy increases the risk of baby having serious birth defects or even death.