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Global leaders have lauded India's leadership in scientific innovation and decisive action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, as the country gets set to begin the world's largest vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus.

The Drug Controller General of India on Sunday approved the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech, for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.

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"It's great to see India’s leadership in scientific innovation and vaccine manufacturing capability as the world works to end the COVID-19 pandemic," Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in a tweet on Monday, tagging the Prime Minister's Office.

Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted that India "continues to take decisive action & demonstrate its resolve to end #COVID19 pandemic".

"As the world’s largest vaccine producer, it’s well placed to do so. If we #ACTogether, we can ensure effective & safe vaccines are used to protect the most vulnerable everywhere," Ghebreyesus said and tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his tweet.

A day after India's drug regulator approved two vaccines for restricted emergency use, Prime Minister Modi said the world's biggest inoculation drive against coronavirus was set to begin in the country.

Addressing scientists at the National Metrology Conclave, Modi had said it must be ensured that 'Made in India' products not only have global demand but also global acceptance.

In a strong assurance to the international community, that is battling the devastating coronavirus pandemic, Modi said, "As the largest vaccine producing country in the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today. India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis."

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