After Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Covaxin for emergency use in children in the age group of 2 to 18 years, Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar said that this is a big relief to parents who are eagerly waiting to get their children vaccinated against Covid-19.
“I will discuss with Union Health Minister and senior officials about its production and supply. It is a matter of pride that another Indian company Zydus is developing the world’s first DNA based vaccine,” he said.
It is estimated that there are about 1.5 crore kids in the age group of 2-18 years in Karnataka. “So we need about 3 crore doses to vaccinate kids in our state,” said the minister.
“I had the opportunity to meet Krishna Ella of Bharat Biotech last week who was also in Delhi to receive the India Today Award. I was happy to know that Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine is in its final stage of development and it can further speed up our vaccination drive as it doesn’t need trained healthcare personnel to administer the vaccine,” he explained.
A nation can move forward only through innovation and research. Universities should prioritise and encourage research activities, said Sudhakar.
“There are many medical colleges, but we must focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning. Oxford discovered the vaccine for Covid-19. Our universities should also focus on research and development. There are many students who wish to become doctors but there are only a few who want to take up research. There is a need to change this situation,” said Sudhakar.
During the initial days of the Covid-19 pandemic, India did not have sufficient domestic production of medical equipment including PPE and sanitisers and we had to import from other countries. But within a short span of time we are able to not just meet our domestic needs but are also capable of supplying to other countries, said Sudhakar.
Sudhakar further stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a clarion call for Make In India and AtmaNirbhar Bharat. The FDI in manufacturing was about $20 billion in 2014, which has now more than tripled to $68 billion. We must achieve self-reliance in all sectors of medical devices manufacturing, said the minister.