The Indian and global institutions' rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines has ”rescued the world” from the deadly coronavirus and the contributions by the country must not be underestimated, a top American scientist has said.
The country is one of the world’s biggest drug-makers and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring coronavirus vaccines.
Dr Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston during a recent webinar said that the two mRNA vaccines may not impact the world’s low and middle-income countries, but the contributions of India’s vaccines, made in collaboration with universities across the world such as BCM and the Oxford University, must not be underestimated.
During the webinar titled 'COVID-19: Vaccination and Potential Return to Normalcy – If and When' organised by the Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH), Dr Hotez, an internationally-recognised physician-scientist in neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development, said that the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is 'India’s gift’ to the world in combating the virus.
India’s drugs regulator gave emergency use authorisation to Covishield, produced by Pune-based Serum Institute of India after securing a licence from British pharma company AstraZeneca, and Covaxin, indigenously developed jointly by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech and Indian Council of Medical Research scientists.
"This is something very special and I see it myself because I’m on weekly teleconferences with our colleagues in India, you make a recommendation, and within days it’s done and not only done, but it’s done well and with incredible rigour and thought and creativity,” Dr Hotez said.
Consul General of India in Houston, Aseem Mahajan, along with a distinguished panel of doctors participated in this webinar that tracked the possibilities of a return to some semblance of normality due to the accelerated rollout of vaccines across the country.