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Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurates the 23rd Annual General Meeting of the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN) in Pune

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Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya has called on governments around the world, funding agencies working on global health issues and industries to come together and ensure that the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic are studied and to prepare a strategy for the world to be more successful in managing such a crisis in the future.

The Union Minister addressed the inaugural ceremony of the 23rd Annual General Meeting of the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN) in Pune yesterday. When the power of government, scientists and industries are combined with national and international organizations, all health problems can be identified and solved, he added.

The two-day event is co-organized by the Serum Institute of India (SII) with the DCVMN on the theme “Global Equity and Timely-Access: COVID-19 and Beyond”. Vaccine manufacturers, scientists, experts and industry leaders participated in the inaugural session.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister said the event is special as it was held just before Deepavali – a festival that every Indian regards as “ending darkness and moving towards light”. “I hope the darkness that has been created by COVID-19 will be removed this Deepavali and an atmosphere of positivity will be created in the world.” Dr Mandaviya said that we witnessed the importance of knowledge and wisdom when COVID-19 spread across the world and scientists from all over the world came together and succeeded in finding a solution. solution. The Minister of Health praised Indian scientists who have worked with developed countries and succeeded in developing vaccines against COVID-19. He said India could become triumphant in the development of “Swadeshi vaccines” thanks to the hard work of scientists and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s faith in the country’s scientific community.

Talking about India’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the Minister of Health claimed that 70% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 today. He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India could launch the biggest vaccination campaign “Sabko Vaccine, Muft Vaccine”. He added that India could achieve the pride of achieving 100 crore vaccinations in a short period of nine months and had administered 200 crore vaccinations in 18 months. “India could succeed in the vaccination campaign thanks to the able leadership of Hon’ble PM, the wisdom of the scientific community, the hard work of vaccinators and the indomitable spirit of vaccine manufacturers.” Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, Biological E and Zydus Cadila are the companies that have assisted the Indian government in all stages of the vaccination program, Dr Mandaviya said.

The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has said that the development of vaccines is a great scientific achievement in the fight against disease. It is the most cost-effective public health tool to prevent disease in any country, he added. “I feel happy because vaccination coverage has increased across the world and thousands of lives are being saved as a result.” He also said that India has also continuously increased its vaccination coverage. The country’s “Universal Immunization Programme” is proof of that, Dr Mandaviya said. The country has also been striving to improve the scope of health care delivery at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, he also said. “We have a strong healthcare workforce, which includes ASHA workers. Thus, health services reach even the last citizen of the country.”

The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare outlined the four areas to focus on to make progress in immunization: knowledge, technology, social and economics.

Dr Mandaviya called for the normalization of “routine vaccination” which he said has “suffered a lot during the pandemic”. He noted that faster progress needs to be made in this area.

The Minister acknowledged that the DCVMN provides approximately 70% of API vaccines worldwide. “The DCVMN has also focused on vaccines against rotavirus, Japanese encephalitis, pneumonia, meningitis and neglected tropical diseases. The formation of this organization is a great example of the partnership model, where organizations such as the WHO, UNICEF, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, donor governments, the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), country-level regulatory bodies and agencies, and various governments have played vital roles,” the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said.

Dr. Mandaviya also assured DCVMN stakeholders that the G-20 chaired by India will also take meaningful and result-oriented steps in the future.

Chief Scientist of WHO, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Cyrus S. Poonawalla, MD of Serum Institute of India, and CEO Adar Poonawalla, Bharat Biotech Pvt. ltd. Sai D. Prasad were present on the occasion, while WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Dr. Richard Hatchett of CEPI, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Regional Director of WHO in the Americas Dr. Carissa F. Etienne and Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) President and CEO Nikolaj Gilbert joined the session virtually.

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