How is the Production of Oral Polio Vaccines Secured in India?

How is the Production of Oral Polio Vaccines Secured in India?

Ensuring Polio Vaccine Security: India’s Collaboration with Bilthoven Biologicals

India’s immunization program, a vital lifeline in protecting children from life-threatening diseases, depends heavily on a constant supply of quality vaccines. Oral polio vaccines (OPV) play a crucial role in maintaining India’s polio-free status. However, recent concerns about the availability of injectable inactivated poliomyelitis vaccines (IPV) have highlighted the need to secure a reliable supply of both OPV and IPV.

Bilthoven Biologicals: A Key Partner

Bilthoven Biologicals, a bioengineering and vaccine production firm, has been a key partner in India’s efforts to secure OPV supplies. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. In 2012, SII acquired Bilthoven Biologicals, strengthening its capacity to produce vaccines and establishing a vital manufacturing base in Europe.

Enhanced Production Capacity

Through a recent collaboration with Bharat Biotech, Bilthoven Biologicals has significantly increased its OPV production capacity. Under the agreement, Bharat Biotech will source drug substances from Bilthoven for manufacturing OPV, which will be supplied both within India and globally. This partnership plays a critical role in ensuring the continued availability of OPV, an essential component of India’s polio eradication strategy.

Securing IPV Supply

While India currently has sufficient IPV supplies, the potential discontinuation of a key supplier has raised concerns. Bilthoven Biologicals, with its production capabilities for IPV, offers a potential backup option if needed. The government is exploring the possibility of procuring IPV from Bilthoven Biologicals in the future, reducing the risk of supply disruptions.

India’s Commitment to Polio Eradication

India’s success in eradicating polio in 2014 is a testament to the country’s commitment to public health. The nation has maintained its polio-free status through high-quality vaccination campaigns and a sustained supply of vaccines. The collaboration with Bilthoven Biologicals and the increased capacity for OPV production further strengthens India’s efforts to prevent the return of polio.

India’s polio vaccine security is a matter of national pride and a testament to the collaborative efforts of government, industry, and international partners. As the country continues its mission to protect its citizens from preventable diseases, the partnership with Bilthoven Biologicals plays a pivotal role in safeguarding India’s health future.

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