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COVID-19: WHO Chief Scientist Says India Exhibited Capacity To Innovate, Manufacture Vaccines

Speaking at the Global Bio-India 2021, World Health Organization’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is at a very critical junction now as cases have suddenly gone up

COVID-19: WHO Chief Scientist Says India Exhibited Capacity To Innovate, Manufacture Vaccines
Highlights
  • 30 vaccines are at different stages of development in India: Centre
  • Covaxin and Covishield are already in use in the country
  • Efforts of scientific community must be lauded for developing vaccine: NITI

New Delhi: India has shown the capacity to be a global-scale manufacturer and also an innovator when it comes to coronavirus vaccines, World Health Organization’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Monday (March 1). Speaking at the Global Bio-India 2021, she opined that the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is at a very critical junction now as cases have suddenly gone up, particularly in Europe and America. There are many uncertainties now, especially on the different variants of the virus, she noted. Ms. Swaminathan said that India has shown the capacity to be a manufacturer at the global scale and also be an innovator when it came to vaccine development. There is a huge amount of scope to study the impact of vaccines, which needs to be thought-through by a very coordinated approach.

Also Read: India’s Next Phase Of Virus Crisis Likely To Be Localised Outbreaks

As many as 30 vaccines are at different stages of development in India. Covaxin, developed indigenously by Biotech, and Covishield, developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and being manufactured at Serum Institute of India, are already in use in the country.

The vaccine candidates of Zydus Cadila and Russia’s Sputnik V are in phase 3 of the human clinical trials. Sputnik V, which is being manufactured by Reddy’s Laboratories in India, has initiated the process for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) with the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). India has supplied vaccines to several nations while many others have also placed orders for the same.

Vinod Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog lauded the efforts of scientific community and said the speed with which the solutions during the pandemic appeared was phenomenal.

The stories of development of vaccines are amazing examples of how time can be compressed and scientific mobilisation can be initiated. The intent to have a global footprint in the manufacturing sector when it came to COVID-19 vaccine was path-breaking and something to be proud of. We have realised that we have the potential to deliver in a speedy manner, like we did for vaccine distribution, he said.

The three-day Global Bio-India 2021 was inaugurated Monday by Harsh Vardhan, the minister of Science and Technology, and Health and Family Welfare.

Also Read: India Emerging As COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Hub, Says Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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