The COVID-19 vaccine is "India's gift'' to the world, internationally renowned physician-scientist Peter Hotez said

The COVID-19 vaccines rollout by India in collaboration with leading global institutions has "rescued the world" from the deadly coronavirus and the contributions by the country must not be underestimated, a top American scientist has said.

Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) Peter Hotez during a recent webinar said that the two mRNA vaccines may not impact the world's low and middle income countries, but India’s vaccines, made in collaboration with universities across the world such as BCM and the Oxford University, have “rescued the world” and its contributions must not be underestimated.

During the webinar, “COVID-19: Vaccination and Potential Return to Normalcy - If and When”, Hotez said that the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is "India's gift'' to the world in combating the virus.

Hotez is an internationally-recognised physician-scientist in neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development.

India’s drugs regulator gave emergency use authorization to Covishield, produced by Pune-based Serum Institute of India after securing licence from British pharma company AstraZeneca, and Covaxin, indigenously developed jointly by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech and Indian Council of Medical Research scientists.

The webinar was organised by Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH).

“This is something very special and I see it myself because I'm on weekly teleconferences with our colleagues in India, you make a recommendation, and within days it's done and not only done, but it's done well and with incredible rigor and thought and creativity," Hotez said, stressing that he felt compelled to make this statement because "India's huge efforts in combating global pandemic is a story that's not really getting out in the world."

Consul General of India in Houston, Aseem Mahajan, along with a distinguished panel of doctors participated in this webinar that tracked the possibilities of a return to some semblance of normality due to the accelerated roll out of vaccines across the country.

Appreciating Hotez for commending India’s efforts in getting vaccines to the world, Consul General Mahajan, said, “in keeping with “our tradition of sharing with the world,” India has exported vaccines to many countries across the world.

India has provided 56 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines under grants assistance to a number of countries. The vaccines were sent to Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles.

“There has also been a boost in the collaborative medical partnerships emerging between the US and India during this pandemic. In addition, India is one of the fourth largest destinations in Asia for medical devices manufacturing and many US companies have expressed interest in collaborating on this front," Mahajan said.

Chamber president Tarush Anand expressed pride that India has risen to this global challenge by leveraging the brilliance of its scientific community and extensive manufacturing capabilities in the most efficient manner to help the world recover from a deadly pandemic.