This combination vaccine for combating the fatal tetanus and diphtheria (Td) in adolescents and adults, is different from the normal DT (dual antigen) vaccine used in children.
This new Td vaccine will replace the existing usage of TT (Tetanus) vaccine, which is normally given post-injury. Td-Vac is priced at Rs 7.50 per dose in the local market.
Since the existing price for Tetanus (TT) vaccine is Rs 6.50 per dose, the company sources claimed that this combination vaccine is very economical as the patient receives protection against two diseases.
Currently in India, it has been studied that the incidence of diphtheria is on the rise. Diphtheria cases have doubled in the last one year and the mortality rate is about 20 per cent.
Diphtheria is most common in crowded areas with poor sanitation. Tetanus bacteria enter the body through an open wound. It is preventable through immunisation.
According to an Indian study by Nivsarkar, over 50 per cent of individuals between 21-30 years of age and 82 per cent of those over 30 years of age are susceptible to this disease.
The launch of tetanus-diphtheria vaccine gains significance as the US government has made the vaccination mandatory for every person travelling to the country.
In many countries, including the USA, pregnant women are administered with Td vaccine instead of the TT vaccine. The Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) recommends the use of Td vaccine in all individuals over the age of seven years.
Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman, Serum Institute said that it has always looked at launching standard life saving vaccines in the Indian market.
With the launch of Td-Vac, the firm is yet again offering the Indian masses the benefit of two vaccines in one, which is the norm in developed countries, he added.