HYDERABAD, June 3: International cooperation is essential to advance vaccine development to combat emerging pathogens, and the G20 forum can serve as a vital platform to facilitate collaboration between governments, research organisations, pharmaceutical companies, and other stakeholders, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday.
He was addressing the Global Vaccine Research Collaborative discussion on ‘Vaccine Research and Development: Building Consensus for Future Health Emergencies Prevention, Preparedness, and Response’, a co-branded event under India’s G20 presidency organised by Department of Pharmaceuticals (Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers), according to an official release.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of global collaboration in vaccine research and development. As we continue to navigate this once-in-a-century public health crisis, we realise the importance of research to accelerate vaccine development, particularly for emerging pathogens,” the Union Minister, who also holds the Chemicals and Fertilizers portfolio, said.
Highlighting India’s leadership in vaccine R&D for several decades, with experience in developing, producing, and distributing vaccines for diseases such as polio, smallpox, and measles, the Union Minister said that India being a leading player in vaccine production and distribution can play a critical role in building greater global collaboration towards this goal.
“The development and deployment of effective vaccines can help mitigate the impact of pandemics, and we must prioritise research efforts to achieve this objective,” he said.
Elaborating on India’s initiatives to boost vaccine production and distribution, the Union Minister stated that the government has provided financial incentives and streamlined regulatory processes to encourage vaccine manufacturers to increase their production capacity.
It has also taken steps to ensure the availability of vaccines in rural areas by leveraging the existing infrastructure of primary health centres and other healthcare facilities, he further said.
He said India’s leadership in the production and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines is a testament to its commitment to global health security.
“We recognise that vaccine equity is essential, and we are committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their income or nationality, has access to life-saving vaccines,” Mandaviya added. (PTI)