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India To Make Significant Investment In R&D For Future Pandemic: Union Minister

While efforts are still on to uncover findings related to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as, the epidemiological models, India is ready to invest in future challenges

Photo Credit : PIB


India will make a significant investment in R&D to develop a roadmap for the design and delivery of vaccine development for future pandemics, said Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh.

Speaking on preparedness for future epidemics and CEPI’s 100 days vaccine challenge, Singh said, while efforts are still on to uncover findings about Covid-19 and the epidemiological models, India is ready to invest in future challenges.

Dr Jitendra Singh reiterated that Covid-19 has given us an urgent wake-up call to prepare ourselves for any future threat and it is timely that the Department of Biotechnology and THSTI is leading India's IndCEPI program for future preparedness.

The minister attended a two-day International Conference on the 5th and 6th of December, organised by the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Faridabad in its campus at NCR Biotech Science Cluster.

At the same event Dr Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary, DBT, reiterated DBT’s commitment to foster enterprise and innovation with new and special emphasis on enhancing manufacturing and bio-manufacturing. He added that the process for vaccine preparedness was complex and DBT would facilitate putting into place easier scientific policy on the place. The need for a synchronised system such that India can combat the disease dengue, Chikungunya, TB and other viral/bacterial infection, bringing more proactive solutions in means of vaccine, diagnostics, and curative therapeutics quickly, he mentioned.

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, WHO also attending the conference emphasised the need for India to develop road maps and target product profiles for diseases important to India. She mentioned that the WHO had set up a committee to prioritise viral families and pick prototypes from these families for vaccine development. For a better and more equitable approach to vaccine development and access, it was important to be collaborative, have globally aligned regulatory processes and an ethical public health policy in place, she added.