Microsoft co-founder and former chief executive Bill Gates has showered praise on India’s leadership in scientific innovation and its vaccine manufacturing capability. The comments from Gates comes days after the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approved two Covid-19 vaccine candidates – Covishield (Oxford University-AstraZeneca’s vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (Indigenous Covid-19 vaccine developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech) for restricted emergency use in the country.
Gates took to Twitter to appreciate the leading role played by the country in scientific innovations and vaccine manufacturing capabilities. Gates from his official Twitter account wrote that he felt great to see India’s leadership in scientific innovation and vaccine manufacturing capabilities. Gates also said that as the world is aiming at ending the Coronavirus pandemic, India’s position in vaccine manufacturing would play a huge role in realising the goal. Gates in his post also shared a news article related to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of the launch of the world’s largest vaccination programme in the country.
It is pertinent to know that the Serum Institute of India (SII) which has undertaken the task of manufacturing and distributing the Oxford- AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine in the country is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. SII was one of the first manufacturers in the world to get in touch with the UK-based Oxford University and AstraZeneca which have developed the Coronavirus vaccine Covishield.
SII is relying on its vast experience in the field of vaccine manufacturing and has also been able to produce the vaccine pretty quickly; currently, it is manufacturing about 60-70 million doses of the vaccine in a month. The company, in addition to manufacturing the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca, also organised the clinical trials of the vaccine in three phases in collaboration with the public-private hospitals spread across the country. Gates who ventured into the field of philanthropy after his active stint in Microsoft is also playing an instrumental role in ensuring that the people in under-developed and developing countries also have quick access to the life-saving Coronavirus vaccines.