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Fight against coronavirus at a very critical junction: WHO chief scientist

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Fight against coronavirus at a very critical junction: WHO chief scientist
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WHO chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan (file photo)

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan has said 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.

She drew attention to many uncertainties especially on the different variants of the virus.

Speaking at the Global Bio-India 2021, she said that India has exhibited capacity to innovate and to be a global scale manufacturer of the vaccines.

"There is a huge amount of scope to study the impact of vaccines, which needs to be thought-through by a very coordinated approach," she said.

Nearly 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 being administered 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).

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

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 & Technology, and Health & Family Welfare.

(With inputs from PTI)

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TAGS:coronavirus vaccine rollout new spread in Europe America Soumya Swaminathan 
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