A Policy Dialogue on “COVID-19 Vaccine: From Self-Reliance to Global Leadership – Opportunities, Challenges, and Policy Imperatives in COVID Era” was organised by CSIR-NISTADS and CSIR-NISCAIR on 1 March 2021 virtually to discuss and spread awareness about challenging vaccine issues in recent times like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Director CSIR-NISTADS/NISCAIR, Dr Ranjana Aggarwal, welcomed the gathering with her opening remarks. She highlighted that for the last 25 years CSIR-NISTADS is involved in vaccine policy research and played a significant role in S&T for public health. She shared that CSIR-NISCAIR is also actively engaged in the dissemination of scientific information through popular science articles, and research publications.
Dr Shekar C. Mande, DG-CSIR, Secretary DSIR, in his inaugural address highlighted major CSIR-contributions of India in combating the COVID-19 pandemic to achieve self-reliance and global leadership. He said he is proud that the COVID-19 vaccine which was taken by the prime minister had an adjuvant developed by CSIR.
Taking the session forward, Dr Anurag Agarwal, Director, CSIR-IGIB, New Delhi, informed the gathering about the active participation of his institute in a series of sero surveys, genomic research and developing diagnostic kits.
Dr Shailja Gupta, Senior Advisor from the PSA office, emphasised the need for data transparency in the public domain and also expressed that the Industry is doing a wonderful job.
Dr Shirshendu Mukherjee, Mission Director, BIRAC, New Delhi, stated that BIRAC played a crucial role in international cooperation in vaccine development. Dr S.K. Varshney, Advisor & Head, International Cooperation, Department of Science & Technology (DST), emphasised that India is a global hub of supplying medicines and vaccines to other neighbouring countries through vaccine diplomacy.
Dr Geetha Vani Rayasam, Head of Science Communication and Dissemination Division, CSIR, highlighted the importance of science communication and public health awareness. She added that giving the right and reliable information is extremely important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Y. Madhavi, Sr Principal Scientist, CSIR-NISTADS, moderated the discussion and summed up the concluding session. Dr N.K.Prasanna, Scientist and Editor, Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics, CSIR-NISCAIR, Dr Paramananda Barman Scientist and Associate editor Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, CSIR-NISCAIR, coordinated the event.
Dr NK Prasanna
Scientist & Editor
Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics
CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources