A combination vaccine for immunization against tetanus and diphtheria, Td-Vac priced at Rs. 7.50 has been launched by Serum Institute of India .
The vaccine is aimed at combating the fatal tetanus and diphtheria (Td) in adolescents and adults. It is much different than the currently existing dual antigen vaccine used in children and would be used as an alternative to the TT (Tetanus vaccine), commonly administered following injury.
The vaccine is regarded to be very cost effective as it offers dual protection against both diphtheria and tetanus. The cost is much lesser than the existing Tetanus (TT) vaccine, given at Rs 6.50 per dose.
The vaccine has been launched in just the right time in India, where there is rise in the incidence of Diphtheria. Infact the number of new cases has doubled over the previous year. The disease, which is most common in areas with poor sanitation, has a mortality rate of nearly 20%.
Tetanus, a vaccine preventable disease is caused by infection with Clostridium tetanii, a bacteria that gains access to the human body through an open wound. Approximately one-half of all 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 the tetanus-diphtheria vaccine is said to be significant following the rule of the US government according to which the vaccination has been has made mandatory for every person traveling to the country.
The usage of the Td vaccine, more specifically in pregnant women has already been implemented in countries such as the USA. It is recommended that the vaccine be used in all individuals above 7 years of age by The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP).