Hyderabad: In the race to find and manufacture the vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic, Industries Minister KT Rama Rao expressed confidence that the first vaccine will be produced in Telangana State especially from the Genome Valley on the outskirts of Hyderabad. He promised to all vaccine manufacturers that Telangana State will champion the cause of decentralisation, funding and becoming flexible in terms of regulations, by advocating their voices with the Central government.
Participating in a discussion on ‘The Vaccine Race – Balancing Science and Urgency’ organised by the State government here on Tuesday, Rama Rao said India especially Telangana has been in forefront in vaccine manufacturing with one-third of global vaccines being produced in Hyderabad alone. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the pharma and life sciences sector in Telangana State with an opportunity to fortify its position as a global force in the world of pharmaceuticals.
The Minister agreed with the vaccine manufacturers on the urged need to devise a strategy for conducting more tests, distribution, administration and clinical monitoring of the vaccine. He felt that the Central government should involve all stakeholders including the State governments and the vaccine manufacturers in this regard. Based on the opinions voiced by the experts and vaccine manufacturers, he was confident that a vaccine will be there, but people might have to wait longer than expected. He urged people to follow the COVID-19 guidelines and the need to increase testing, besides imposing self-isolation and maintaining physical distancing. He also complemented the life sciences ecosystem in Genome Valley for racing against the time to produce the vaccine.
World Health Organisation chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan, Bharat Biotech International Limited chairman and managing director Dr Krishna Ella, Biological E managing director Mahima Datla and Indian Immunilogicals Limited managing director Anand Kumar, participated in the discussion