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Krishna Ella favours WHO’s global outreach over ‘vaccine nationalism’

Vaccine nationalism occurs when a country stocks up doses for its own citizens and prioritises its domestic markets before vaccines are given to other countries.

Published: 23rd February 2021 09:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2021 09:34 AM   |  A+A-

IT Minister KT Rama Rao presents the Genome Valley excellence award to Krishna and Suchitra Ella of Bharat Biotech at the inauguration of BioAsia 2021 in Hyderabad on Monday.

IT Minister KT Rama Rao presents the Genome Valley excellence award to Krishna and Suchitra Ella of Bharat Biotech at the inauguration of BioAsia 2021 in Hyderabad on Monday. | RVK Rao

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Dispelling the idea of ‘vaccine nationalism’, Bharat Biotech managing director Krishna Ella said that the company wishes to be a part of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Covax programme, introduced to ensure Covid-19 vaccines for poorer nations.

Ella, speaking at BioAsia 2021’s panel discussion ‘Immunising the World’, said: “We do not have any nationalism as such. We want to be a part of the WHO’s Covax movement. We are also waiting to tie up with the WHO for our nasal vaccine, which is in the making.”

Vaccine nationalism occurs when a country stocks up doses for its own citizens and prioritises its domestic markets before vaccines are given to other countries. Covax aims to provide the vaccine to at least 20 per cent of the population in the poorest countries.

He also termed the current vaccine distribution system “unorganised” due to shortage. “Every country has become desperate. The moment there is enough vaccine supply, it will become more streamlined,” he said.
Ella admitted that due to constant pressure, the firm missed a little efficacy timepoint for Covaxin. WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan, another panelist, said the body would set up a committee to study Covid-19 mutations.

FDA expert sees need to address Covid variants
Hyderabad: In the coming days, there is a need to address the issue of emerging Covid-19 variants, said Dr Peter Marks, director of the Centre for Biologics Evaluation and Research in the US-government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Marks who was giving the keynote address at BioAsia 2021, said, “We are going to have to address the issue of Covid-19 variants. In the United States, we are thinking about how to issue guidance regarding how to change their vaccines, what to do in clinical terms, what to add in terms of components in vaccines.” 



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