India capable of COVID-19 vaccine production for the entire world: Bill Gates
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Jul 16, 2020, 03:20 pm
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has said that India is capable of producing COVID-19 vaccines for the entire world. He stated that plenty of "very important things have been done" by India's pharmaceutical industry and is doing work "to help make the coronavirus vaccine building on other great capacities that they have used for other diseases,".
Set to appear in a documentary titled 'COVID-19: India's War Against The Virus', premiering on the Discovery Plus channel on July 16, Gates said India also faces a mountainous task up ahead in the ongoing health crisis owing to its large size and population in urban areas.
The Co-Chair and Trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates also spoke about India's strengths in the pharmaceutical industry in detail. He said, "India has a lot of capacity there - with the drug and vaccine companies that are huge suppliers to the entire world. You know, more vaccines are made in India than anywhere - starting with Serum Institute, that's the largest." He further added, "But (there are) also Bio E, Bharat (Biotech), many others. They are doing work to help make the coronavirus vaccine, building on other great capacities that they have used for other diseases,".
Gates also commented on India coming on board the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) saying, "I am excited that the pharmaceutical industry there will be able to produce not just for India but also for the entire world. (This is) what we need to reduce the deaths and make sure we are immune, which is how we end the epidemic.". The CEPI is a group working around the world to build multiple vaccine platforms.
He then said that his foundation is also a "partner with the government, particularly with the department of biotechnology, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the office of the principal scientific advisor provide advice and help about getting these tools going".
The documentary shot during the lockdown period has Bill Gates commenting on the novel coronavirus entering India's borders. He said, "India is still at the beginning of this, but there's a lot of very important things have been done. It is a huge challenge with India because you've got a gigantic country,". He adds, "You've got your urban centers with a lot of density - and so that - drives the spread. You have people moving around." However, he remained optimistic and said, "Yet people are stepping up... Looking at how we reduce the spread while trying not to reduce food availability, equipment that people need."