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Bharat Biotech Covaxi

Bharat Biotech on Monday announced that it has commenced export of Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin.

Long Pending export orders have been executed during November, to be further expanded during the following months, the Hyderabad-based company said in a statement.

With the number of countries that have granted emergency use approvals for Covaxin increasing, exports to additional countries will also commence from December, it said.

The vaccine maker thanked the Government of India for approving exports. Covaxin will now become an integral part of the global fight against this pandemic, it added.

The company earlier said it was poised to achieve its goal of an annual capacity of about one billion doses of Covaxin by the end of 2021.

(IANS/JB)

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The Centre will launch a pilot project on the use of indigenously manufactured drones for delivering medicines in the undulating landscape of Jammu and surrounding areas from Saturday

The Centre will launch a pilot project on the use of indigenously manufactured drones for delivering medicines in the undulating landscape of Jammu and surrounding areas from Saturday with a focus on vaccines delivery initially. "This is going to be a pilot project for the area. The drone is developed and manufactured entirely by our scientists," Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh told mediapersons. Singh said he himself will be launching the project at Jammu.

The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a constituent of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an autonomous Society that is headed by the Prime Minister. For now, the delivery would be limited to Covid vaccines and once successful, it would be expanded to be used for regular delivery of medicines in the remote, hilly areas.

drone flying in sky The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL). | Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

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Bharat Biotech Director, V. Krishna Mohan, has said developing the Covaxin in "just 10 months" was an enormous challenge.

Bharat Biotech Director, V. Krishna Mohan, has said developing the Covaxin in "just 10 months" was an enormous challenge.

Addressing a session on Thursday at the Bengaluru Tech Summit-2021, he said there were no vaccines when the Covid-19 hit India, and the world.

"This was a daunting challenge for the pharma sector and the prospective vaccine makers. We were given just 10 months to develop a vaccine to fight the infection but we could succeed in developing Covaxin swiftly at a level within these few months," he said.

The Central government took the right steps at that juncture, the Bharat Biotech Director added.

"There were no such past precedents and it seems impossible to make a vaccine in such a short span of time," he said.

The company chalked out a plan to make and develop the vaccine in India, he added.

V. Krishna Mohan further said it is difficult to quantify the hard work that went into the making of the vaccine, adding the company did not compromise on the quality or efficacy of the vaccine at any point of time.

He said Bharat Biotech was successful in releasing Covaxin in a record time and helped to save lives of crores of fellow Indians.

The Indian Council of Medical Research has positively changed its style of functioning in the last decade, he added.

Participating in the session, Deepak Sapra, CEO, API & Services, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, said: "Covid has taught us tough lessons. With the help of our Russian partner we could develop 'Sputnik V' vaccines which not only helped India but also other developed countries. However, in respect of vaccine development it is a long way to go for India and Indian pharma companies."

Divya Bizwan, Senior Vice-President of Aurobindo Pharma, said there was no dearth of talent in India.

"But, there is hardly any recognition for talent in pharma companies. It is necessary for vaccine makers to recognize this need and be more encouraging to the pool of talent that Indian pharma sector has."

Atin Tomar, CEO of Yapan Bio, also participated in the session. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Bharat Biotech, Covaxin.


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The Rome Declaration at the conclusion of the G20 Leaders' Summit on Sunday has agreed to mutually accept Covid-19 vaccines that are deemed safe and efficacious by the WHO

The Rome Declaration at the conclusion of the G20 Leaders' Summit on Sunday has agreed to mutually accept Covid-19 vaccines that are deemed safe and efficacious by the WHO, a development that will be useful for opening up the global tourism sector for economic recovery post the pandemic shut down.

"Covid-19 immunization is a global public good and the recognition of Covid-19 vaccines, which are deemed to be safe and efficacious by the WHO will be mutually accepted, subject, of course to, the national law and privacy law that countries may have," said Piyush Goyal, India's Sherpa at the G20 and Union Minister for Commerce and Industry.

"But more importantly, it has been agreed that everybody will help to optimize the processes and procedures of the World Trade Organization for vaccine approval and emergency use authorization and the WHO will be strengthened so that they can do recognition of vaccines faster," Goyal added as he briefed the media after what he called as the successful culmination of G20 Summit.

This was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's eighth G20 Summit since 2014 and the first in-person summit since the Osaka Summit in 2019. The theme of the summit under the Italian Presidency was 'People, Planet, Prosperity', with an overarching theme of recovery from the pandemic.

The Prime Minister participated in all three Summit Sessions on 'Global Economy and Global Health', 'Climate Change and Environment' and 'Sustainable Development'. The leaders adopted the 'Rome Declaration' after over five days of extensive negotiations.

Stating that within the overarching theme of the summit, the G20 had delivered "a strong message of recovery from the pandemic, recovery in terms of the economy and of course, different sectors like health, employment, education, tourism and most significantly climate action."

The Declaration has also agreed to extend the debt suspension service initiative so that vulnerable countries, low-income countries are not burdened with debt repayment at this critical time.

On agriculture, "livelihoods for small and marginal farmers were at the focus of our discussions and everybody has agreed that improving their livelihood is an important global effort that we all have to put in," the Union Minister added.

Underscoring the achievement of the G20 framework on base erosion and profit sharing, Goyal said it was a historic accomplishment for a more stable and fairer international tax system.

The G20 had acknowledged the importance of shared standards for seamless travel, including testing requirements and results, vaccination certificates and mutual recognition of digital applications, the Minister added.

"G20 affirms the role of data for development," he said.

India also pushed for language on ending gender-based violence and increasing women's participation in the workforce; language denouncing uneven distribution of unpaid care and domestic work, Goyal added.

(IANS/JB)

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