Brazil to produce measles vaccine

IANS| Updated: Oct 29, 2013, 19:11 PM IST

Rio de Janeiro: Brazil will produce measles vaccine for export to African, Asian and Latin American nations, the country's top health official said here.

The first Brazilian vaccine targeting the global market will be produced by the Bio-Manguinhos Lab, which is part of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil's renowned state-run public health research facility in Rio, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, reported Xinhua.

Brazilian Health Minister Alexandre Padilha Monday said the project would stimulate local production aimed at the global market, and generate both jobs and wealth through the construction of a factory in Rio.

"The agreement we signed will permit more investment and guarantees of purchase, which will allow us to get to the external market with the lowest price," Padilha said, adding that the ministry is investing $733 million.

In addition, he said, the technology needed to produce the vaccines will benefit the domestic market.

The government expects 30 million doses of the vaccine to be commercially available by 2017, at the lowest price in the world.

Only one lab in the world, located in India, produces the vaccine for measles, which kills about 158,000 people a year in the world, mostly children under the age of five.