homehealthcare NewsCOVID 19: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya launches BRICS vaccine R&D centre

COVID-19: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya launches BRICS vaccine R&D centre

COVID-19: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya launches BRICS vaccine R&D centre
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By CNBCTV18.com Mar 22, 2022 6:10:29 PM IST (Published)

The centre will comprise basic research and development, preclinical and clinical studies and strengthen BRICS countries' laboratory capacities to develop and standardise assays for testing vaccine candidates.

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday launched the BRICS Vaccine R&D Centre and Workshop on Vaccine Cooperation during a video-conference with other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) leaders.

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Mandaviya said the centre will help pool together "complementary advantages" of BRICS countries in vaccine research and development. He said the centre will comprise basic research and development, preclinical and clinical studies and strengthen BRICS countries' laboratory capacities to develop and standardise assays for testing vaccine candidates.
“The centre will be instrumental in streamlining vaccination resources and facilitate equitable access to safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines," Mandaviya said, adding, "India is willing to offer its robust vaccine manufacturing industry for developing vaccines for BRICS and other countries, which should work together to support endeavours to achieve WHO’s laid target of vaccinating 70 percent of the world’s population by mid-2022."
He said the “BRICS Vaccine R&D Centre" is a welcome initiative to collaborate with countries, share experiences, and accelerate development of vaccine of public health importance.

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The virtual launch was chaired by Wang Zhigang, Minister of Science and Technology, People’s Republic of China, and was attended by Brazil Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, Blade Nzimande, the South African Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, as well as delegates, senior representatives and research experts from BRICS countries.
Mandaviya said WHO’s R&D blueprint and International Health Regulations should be the guiding principles for this centre. Elaborating on the country’s capabilities and success of the "world’s largest" COVID-19 vaccination drive, Mandaviya said India has so far administered more than 1.81 billion vaccination doses. "This wouldn’t have been possible without a robust and favourable ecosystem of vaccine R&D in the country," he said. "India has so far approved nine vaccines for COVID-19 emergency use, of which five are indigenous."
He said that vaccine industry in India functions in a dual mode -- de-novo product development, which means within the country, and technology transfer through local-global partnership. He invited stakeholders to collaborate with India as “we have prioritised strengthening vaccine research and development efforts for diseases of local as well as global relevance”.
The BRICS Vaccine R&D Centre was first proposed to be established as part of the 2018 Johannesburg Declaration. In the New Delhi Declaration of the XIII BRICS Summit, BRICS leaders reiterated their commitment towards the early launch of BRICS Vaccine R&D Centre in virtual format.
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