Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
India Teams with IAVI to Develop C Strain-Specific HIV Vaccine
India'sMinistry of Health and Family Welfare and the Indian Council for Medical Research have teamed up with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative to develop an HIV
vaccine "appropriate for India," the Times of India reports. Under the plan, IAVI will provide $3 million over the next 18 months to the Indian government to fund vaccine development efforts (Times of India, 3/21). Indian researchers and scientists from Therion Biologics will work together on the research and development of the vaccine (Katyal, Reuters, 3/21). The vaccine will target the C strain of the virus, the type most prevalent in India. To create the vaccine, scientists will insert pieces of HIV genetic material into the carrier virus modified vaccinia Ankara-strain. According to IAVI President Dr. Seth Berkley, the genetic material will not be able to cause HIV, but will be enough to produce antibodies to HIV in the body (Times of India, 3/21). The ideal vaccine for India would be an oral vaccine that can be administered in a single dose and is stable at room temperature, Berkley said (Reuters, 3/21). Berkley added that any vaccine developed must be affordable to poorer nations. "We have to make sure that this reaches even the poor countries at an affordable price. For this, we have already negotiated agreements with vaccine companies which will supply it cheaply," he said (Times of India, 3/21). He added that he hopes the vaccine would cost "just a few rupees" per dose (Reuters, 3/21).
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