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India launches a vaccine to prevent Japanese Encephalitis

In another great example of public private partnership, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad launched the indigenous produced Japanese Encephalitis vaccine JENVAC which has been jointly developed by scientists of National Institute of Virology, the ICMR and Bharat Biotech Ltd.

Speaking at the occasion, the Health Minister termed the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) as a serious public health challenge for India.

Encephalitis is a disease that results in inflammation of the brain. While the lesser symptoms include headaches and fevers, the more severe ones cause the onset of mental issues like seizures, confusion, disorientation, tremors and hallucinations.

The health minister said that  “this was an outstanding example of public private partnership in healthcare as we set to emerge as a national with an innovative and self-sufficient technology hub”.

The most significant benefit JENVAC brings over live attenuated vaccines (those that reduce the harmful effects of pathogens but keep them viable) is that it can be administered during an epidemic as it is a highly purified and inactivated vaccine.

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