Ambassador of India to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu on Tuesday said cutting-edge technology and research leadership of the US and capabilities of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, can be combined for producing affordable vaccines.
The event was attended by Ambassador of India to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Bill Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rep. Dwight Evans, Ms. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, WHO, Dr. VK Paul, Member, Niti Aayog, Government of India, Prof. Peter Jay HOtez, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Ms. Karen Freeman, Acting Assistant Administrator, USAID, Prof. Gangandeep Kang, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Board Member-CEPI and Ms. Mahima Datla, CEO, Biological E, Hyderabad.
Speaking at an event of the India-US Health Partnership roundtable on “Vaccine for All” virtually, he pointed out, “The convergences between India and US are strong” and added that there were intensive engagements last year at bilateral, Quad, and multilateral levels.
“PM Modi’s visit to the US, Bilateral Summit with President Biden, and the Quad Summit were significant, substantive, and comprehensive. The Quad Vaccines Initiative is on track to see roll out this year on its promise of 1 billion J & J vaccines manufactured by India’s Biological E,” he said.
Moreover, he affirmatively said that India and US have unique synergies that can be leveraged.
“The cutting-edge technology and research leadership of US and capabilities of India, the World’s largest vaccine manufacturer can be combined for producing affordable vaccines,” he said.
He emphasized that vaccinating the world must be the priority strategy against the pandemic adding that the world’s map of vaccinations presents a story of disparities with the under-developed countries including those in Africa lagging at 10 percent or below.
“This is precisely the context in which today’s discussions take place – on how safe, affordable, and reliable vaccines can be delivered to all,” he highlighted.
“There has been a robust and long-standing collaboration, between India and US in the health sector including in vaccines. The bilateral Vaccine Action Program (VAP) resulted in the development of the ROTAVAC- vaccine against Rotavirus. This vaccine developed, by an Indian company (Bharat Biotech) significantly brought down the costs,” he said.
He stressed that the established linkages, between Indian and US institutions and researchers, augur well in the fight against Covid19.
He pointed at the already happening collaboration by Baylor College of Medicine and India’s BioE to produce patent-free and logistically easier Corbevax or the collaboration between Novavax and Serum Institute of India to produce Covovax.
“India has already given emergency use approval, for these vaccines. In my interactions with US Administration, Congress, industry, and people, the enthusiasm to tap into our synergies for global good has been tremendous. Indeed this work must be continued. As PM Modi said “India stands ready to work with the world to end the pandemic,” he added.