The Viral Unit of BPD works on the production and processing of viral vaccines. The main aim of this subunit is to provide prevention and control of viral diseases in Pakistan.

Cell Culture Rabies Vaccine Production Laboratory (CCRVPL)

Rabies is a fatal yet vaccine preventable viral disease caused by the rabies virus (Lyssa virus). It is transmitted through the bite or saliva of infected animals (dog, cat, bat, and raccoons etc. Globally dogs are the most common animal involved in the transmission of virus through bites scratches and nibbling of uncovered skin.

Rabies virus infects the central nervous system and causes inflammation of the brain. If the person does not receive the appropriate medical care or vaccine after a potential rabies exposure, the virus can cause disease, ultimately resulting in death.

For the prevention and control of Rabies in Pakistan, Cell Culture Rabies Vaccine Production Laboratory (CCRVPL) was established on 30th September 1986 as an integral part of vaccine production facilities of Biological Production Division, NIH. The production unit was established with the technical cooperation of Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). It is now in continuous production and being supplied to Government hospitals/dispensaries, armed forces, NGOs and individual patients. The vaccine is the liquid preparation of rabies fixed virus grown in Vero cells. After the incubation and harvest, the virus suspension is inactivated, concentrated and purified to which stabilizer is edited. It is a whitish clear liquid containing thimerosal as preservatives. Each vial contains 0.5ml volume having 2.5 I.U purified and inactivated rabies virus. This vaccine leads WHO requirements for rabies pre and post exposure prophylaxis.

Measles Vaccine Production Lab

Measles is a widespread disease in Pakistan and has recruited hundreds of lives during the past outbreaks. According to WHO and UNICEF, Pakistan is on 47 precedence and makes up a large percentage of loss due to measles. The disease can be prevented by vaccination and NIH is the sole institute that produces Measles vaccine in Pakistan meets vaccine demand of the country.

Measles vaccine production lab was established in NIH in 1984 during the regime of General Muhammad Zia ul Haq, the lab was financially funded by UNICEF, Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, and Government of Pakistan. Technical consultancy and services were provided by Connaught Laboratories Canada.

PakVac Covid 19/ CoronaVirus

PakVac vaccine is Ad5-nCoV recombinant vaccine which is being manufactured at NIH with the help of Cansino bio from China. This joint venture began when NIH and a local pharma company AJM pharma joined hands with the Cansino bio to launch the phase III clinical trials of this vaccine in late 2020. The successful venture led to the agreement for transfer of technology of this vaccine between both parties to make Pakistan self-sufficient in Covid vaccine production.

NIH is currently getting the drug substance from Cansino bio and it is doing formulation, filling and packing locally. NIH has produced about 8 million doses of this vaccine so far out of which 5 million has been successfully administered.