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India has launched an integrated response against the Covid-19 pandemic: Vardhan | India News

NEW DELHI: From indigenous vaccine development to new site-of-care diagnostics, India has launched an integrated response to overcome the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday.
Speaking at the eighth BRICS STI ministerial meeting on Friday, Vardhan said that India is also organizing clinical trials for all major vaccines, and some 20 vaccines are in different stages of development.
Two of them are in the most advanced stage of development. COVAXIN developed through collaboration between ICMR-Bharat Biotech and COVISHIELD of the Serum Institute of India. Both are in the phase III clinical trial stage, he added.
“India has initiated an integrated response to overcome this unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic.
“From the development of indigenous vaccines, novel point-of-care diagnostics, and traditional knowledge-based therapeutic formulations, to the establishment of research resources and the provision of services, India’s R&D entities, both public and private companies are working tirelessly to develop effective interventions to combat the pandemic, “said Vardhan, who is in charge of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Valery Falkov, Russian Minister of Science and Higher Education, Marcos Pontes, Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Huang Wei, First Vice Minister of Science and Technology, China, Bonginkosi Emmanuel Nzimande, South African Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology and various other dignitaries from member countries participated in the meeting.
Vardhan said that more than 100 startups have developed innovative products for Covid-19.
He said the government has announced a $ 120 million grant for Covid-19 vaccine research. This is provided for CovidSuraksha (Covid Protection Mission) and will be used exclusively for research and development in this field, he said.
“The grant does not cover the actual cost of the vaccine and its distribution costs, which will be done separately when the vaccine is available,” he said.
Vardhan said that India is also organizing clinical trials for all the major vaccine candidates. The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is conducting trials for the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford, he said.
“One of our pharmaceutical giants, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, will distribute the Russian vaccine in India after conducting final-stage human trials and receiving regulatory approval,” the minister said.
Vardhan said that India will actively contribute to the implementation of the BRICS 2020-21 STI Calendar of Activities and will support the continuation of scientific activities under the BRICS MOU on Science, Technology and Innovation.
BRICS member leaders applauded India for the ‘SERBPOWER’ (Promoting Opportunities for Women in Exploratory Research) scheme launched last month, the Department of Science and Technology said.
“We have recently launched a ‘SERBPOWER’ scheme to encourage and support emerging and eminent female researchers to undertake R&D activities in science and engineering areas. We can think about networking BRICS women scientists through a platform and a specific mechanism, “he added. .

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