WHO approves new vaccine for Japanese EncephalitisListen /
The World Health Organization (WHO) has added a new vaccine made in China to its list of pre-qualified medicines.
The new vaccine will be used to protect children against Japanese Encephalitis which is a mosquito borne viral infection that causes inflammation of the brain.
Japanese Encephalitis is major public health problem and is endemic with seasonal outbreaks in parts of China, the Russian Federation and Southern Asia.
There is no specific treatment for the disease, but it can be prevented through the use of approved vaccines and supportive care in a medical facility to reduce the risk of death or disability.
This is the first Chinese produced vaccine to be pre-qualified by WHO.
Children at risk will need only one dose.
WHO Director- General Dr. Margaret Chan says the approval of the new vaccine is a welcome development both in the fight to protect children in developing countries from Japanese Encephalitis and in the future availability of vaccines, as China is now producing vaccines up to WHO standards.
Dr. Chan expressed hope that more vaccines made in China will become WHO pre-qualified.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.