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India's first shipment under COVAX likely this week: WHO chief scientist

She said this in reply to the question of whether WHO would start rolling out the COVAX facility officially to other countries in the next couple of months

WHO | Coronavirus Vaccine

Press Trust of India  |  Hyderabad 

Soumya Swaminathan
Soumya Swaminathan. Photo courtesy: @doctorsoumya

The first shipment from India

under COVAX, the global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, is likely to roll out this week, Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Monday.

"Not in the next couple of months. This week. (I think) today or tomorrow, the first shipment from India, from the Serum Institute, will be going out to at least 25 or 30 countries and then we hope that this will be followed by the vaccines also that are being manufactured in India.

Many countries around the world are waiting for the distribution to happen as they have been watching vaccination programmes beginning and scaling in high income countries, while their own healthcare workers and other vulnerable groups are still waiting," she said, during a virtual panel discussion.

She said this in reply to question whether would start rolling out the COVAX facility officially to other countries in the next couple of months.

The panel discussion on 'Immunizing the World' was held during 'BioAsia-2021', the flagship annual life sciences event of the Telangana government.

The role being played by India needs to be recognised and the country has risen to the occasion, expanding its huge manufacturing capacity, she said.

Observing that "amazing" Research and Development is also happening in India with a lot of innovative products in clinical trials, she hoped that they would also be successful.

Asked what it takes for countries to overcome the pandemic, she said it would be solidarity, global collaboration and unity.

"Because, it's clear that a pandemic cannot be addressed on a country-by-country or a region-by-region basis," she said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, February 22 2021. 23:01 IST