Highlights:

  • The event was organized against the backdrop of National Science Day.
  • Highlighted the opportunities available, the challenges faced, and the policy imperatives to become a global leader in the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • CSIR lab Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad has prepared the adjuvant for the Bharat Biotech vaccine COVAXIN.
  • CSIR-NISTADS is also known for its vaccine STS policy research has brought national and international recognition.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research organized a session on ‘A Policy Dialogue on COVID-19 Vaccine from Self-Reliance to Global Leadership: Opportunities, Challenges, and Policy Imperatives in COVID Era’. The event was organized against the backdrop of National Science Day. It was also organized to have a policy discourse from eminent personalities on the journey of indigenous development of the COVID-19 vaccine amid the pandemic.

Addressing the event, Dr, Ranjana the Director of CSIR-NISTADS and CSIR- NISCAIR mentioned that after the lockdown, the panel had planned a collective intelligence series to develop focused policy documents on the opportunities and challenges of COVID-19 for India. These policy documents promised to strengthen the Governments’ efforts. “We with our knowledge partners are hosting a series of panel discussions, and workshops to bring in professionals and eminent experts on a common platform. This will also help to bring out focused policy documents,” she added.

The event highlighted the opportunities available, the challenges faced, and the policy imperatives for a way forward to become a global leader not only in the COVID-19 vaccine but also in vaccines in general. In the event, the officials shared their views on the COVID-19 vaccine. The webinar also marked the participation of academicians, young researchers, professionals, and students.

Dr. Shekhar C Mande highlighted that CSIR has actively participated in COVID-19 mitigation strategies. He shared that the CSIR lab Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad has prepared the adjuvant for the Bharat Biotech vaccine COVAXIN.  “We are proud that the vaccine received by the Prime Minister had CSIR adjuvant in it”, he said.

Reportedly, both CSIR-NISTADS and CSIR-NISCAIR are actively engaged in organizing lecture series, seminars, and dissemination of special issue and popular articles on issues related to COVID-19. CSIR-NISTADS is also known for its vaccine STS policy research that has brought national and international recognition.

Meanwhile, Dr. Shailja Vaidya Gupta pointed out the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer and stated that Indians have the most trust in the COVID-19 vaccine. “Indian response to COVID-19 has a huge learning- trust with the private sector and Government which is critical for vaccine confidence-building,” shep said. However, she further suggested that the government should increase this trust by building transparent systems, improving accessibility of data in the public domain, and decentralization of vaccine regulatory process.

On the other hand, Dr. Geetha Vani Rayasam addressed the role of science communication. She reiterated that the partnership from the public is vital and that is going to come only by increasing the awareness and communication to them. She also mentioned the contributions of India in supplying vaccines to the global community. 

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