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New Delhi: India will make significant investment in research and development to develop a roadmap for design and delivery of vaccine development for future pandemic, said minister of state for science and technology, Jitendra Singh.

Addressing the ‘Preparedness for Future Epidemics: Is India ready to meet the CEPI 100 days vaccine challenge?’ international meet, the minister said that while efforts are still on to uncover findings about Covid-19 and the epidemiological models, India is ready to invest in future challenges.

Singh added that the Department of Biotechnology was at the center of the pandemic response and took unprecedented steps to curb the threat posed by Covid-19.

“DBT was aided by its 14 autonomous institutes. The primary lead was taken by THSTI as it quickly set up patient cohorts, bioassay systems, immune and cellular response assays, animal studies required for vaccine development and supported vaccine industry in developing India’s first DNA and protein subunit vaccine, Cobervax," he said.

The minister added that the Covid pandemic has given an urgent wake up call to prepare ourselves for any future threat. “It is timely that Department of Biotechnology and THSTI are leading India’s IndCEPI program for future preparedness."

Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary, DBT said that DBT is committed to foster enterprise and innovation with new and special emphasis of enhancing manufacturing and bio-manufacturing.

“The process for vaccine preparedness was complex and DBT will facilitate with putting into place easier scientific policy on place. The need for synchronized system such that India can combat disease dengue, Chikungunya, TB and other viral/bacterial infection, bringing more proactive solution in means of vaccine, diagnostics, curative therapeutics quickly," Gokhale added.

The Conference on 5-6 December, 2022 was organized by Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) at its campus at NCR Biotech Science Cluster. The meeting brought together leaders and experts from academia, industry and regulators to discuss important aspects of vaccine development for emerging infectious diseases.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swati Luthra

Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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