The DCVMN CEO said that there have been regional imbalances, and referring to Africa pointed out that the country is manufacturing only one percent of their total requirement of vaccines.
“Any vaccine development takes 8-10 years, but in the case of Covid-19, it was delivered in 9 months. However, we need to ensure that there is one global pandemic treaty so that in the event of future pandemics, capacities are raised,”Rajinder Suri, CEO of the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturing Network (DCVMN), a network of more than 40 vaccine manufacturers and spread across all WHO regions said.
Talking at the sidelines of the 23rd annual general meeting of the DCVMN held in Pune, Suri told The Indian Express that they had contributed 8 billion Covid vaccine doses, which is 60 per cent of the global volume of vaccine production in 20 months. “Within India, more than 2 billion doses were produced in the last 20 months and around 68.8 per cent of the population has been fully protected,” he added.
The DCVMN CEO said that there have been regional imbalances, and referring to Africa pointed out that the country is manufacturing only one percent of their total requirement of vaccines. “Hence the rest is being imported. Now, Africa’s Centre for Disease Control has floated a platform so that there is a plan in place and by 2063 they would have more than 60 per cent of local production,” Suri said.
Earlier at a panel discussion on Sustainability and Lessons learn that was chaired by Julia Kuhn, officer, strategy planning and management, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, speakers said that DCVMN can interact with governments and vaccine manufacturers through umbrella associations so as to identify training initiatives for future pandemic preparedness. Panelists also urged to refrain from politicising the response to the pandemic.
Dr Martin Nicholson, vaccine manufacturing expert with the World Health Organisation said that member states were asked to have pandemic preparedness plans. “Post covid they need to review preparedness plans and not just keep it on the shelf,” Dr Nicholson said while other panelists also raised the issue of how these forums can be used for global accountability and responsibility when policies that are advocated are not implemented.