Razi Institute to Produce Whooping Cough Vaccine

Razi Institute to Produce Whooping Cough VaccineRazi Institute to Produce Whooping Cough Vaccine

Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine will be produced in the country by the end of the current year (March 20, 2016).

Vaccine production has resumed after a five-year suspension period, said Hamid Kahram, head of Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute (RVSRI) in Karaj, Alborz Province.

It was suspended due to obsolete technology used in the process. “Now the institute is equipped with state-of-the-art technology,” he said.

“Ten other projects will be completed by the end of the current year but the most important among them is resumption of pertussis vaccine production,” IRNA quoted him as saying.

Enhancing quality of vaccine for brucellosis is one of the plans and newer technologies can enhance reliability, quality and durability. At present, the vaccine shelf life is only four months and will double with use of new technology, he said.

Kahram also pointed to another important program of the institute – the production of Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV).

“Currently, Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) is produced at the institute, but according to the World Health Organization (WHO) in the next two years, all countries should start using IPV instead of OPV, as the former is more effective.”

Although polio is prevalent in eastern neighboring countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan, however, no cases have been reported in the past 15 years in Iran.

 IPV Production

Pointing to the fact that the polio vaccine symbolizes the institute, he said “it is the most complex type produced at the institute.”

“We are now working to acquire technology for production of IPV and have made 80% progress. We hope to succeed in production by the end of next year (March 20, 2017).”

Under Iran’s national immunization plan, pertussis and polio vaccine are both compulsory vaccines which all babies should be administered in the first two years of life.

RVSRI is the oldest and most reputed scientific centers in Iran. It began activities in 1925 by producing vaccine against Rinderpest under the supervision of the then Ministry of Agriculture.

Rinderpest at that time had caused large casualties in the cattle population, and the institute was successful in conducting research and production of the vaccine.

The institute, affiliated to the Agricultural Jihad Ministry, works closely with the Ministry of Health and Iranian Veterinary Organization (IVO) and is a center of research, training and technical assistance.