"The development of Covaxin was made possible with the collaboration between ICMR and Bharat Biotech. This is a true example of public-private partnership, which is marked with trust, transparency and mutual respect," Dr. Bhargava said.
He was speaking on the launch of his book 'Going Viral'. The book is an attempt to take readers through the journey of developing India's first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine.
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'Going Viral' captures the first-hand experiences of scientists who worked round the clock to develop India's first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine in a record time of less than eight months.
The book sheds light on the resilience and courage depicted.
Bhargav added that protecting our environment will be key in preventing such a pandemic in the future.
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In the book 'Going Viral: Making of Covaxin -The Inside Story', ICMR Chief Dr Bhargava talks about the development saga of India's indigenous Covid-19 vaccine, challenges faced by Indian scientists during the development, diagnosis, treatment and serosurveys to new technologies and vaccines.
"When H1N1 had hit India, vaccines were imported from foreign countries. From importing vaccines to manufacturing our own indigenous vaccine, we have come a long way. Today, our Covid vaccines are being exported to other countries," said All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr. Randeep Guleria, while discussing about the book in a panel discussion.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan was also present in the book launch. He said that India has come a very long way in the fight against Covid-19.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been actively involved in Covid-19 RNA extraction, development of testing kits, and vaccine development. Effective collaboration, strong leadership and efficient teamwork made this possible.
Prof. Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government, congratulated ICMR for their partnership with Bharat Biotech.
"It was timely and efficient. Now, we must ensure that everyone is vaccinated and practicing safety measures such as wearing a mask and following social distancing," he was quoted as saying.
Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Biotech highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships in making Covaxin a reality.
"The development of Covaxin is a true success story for public-private partnerships in India, which is based on mutual respect, trust and transparency," he said.