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WHO says India in talks to join global vaccine development

The World Health Organization said that any contribution from India's vast experience to the development of Covid-19 vaccine would be welcome.

A health official checks nasal swab samples collected for shopkeepers and salesmen during a  Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) for the Covid-19 coronavirus inside a private school in Srinagar on September 8, 2020. - India overtook Brazil on September 7 as the coun

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that talks with India are being held over the possibility of the Asian country joining the COVAX Facility – a global effort to develop and distribute vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The global health body added that India had “extensive experience” with vaccines and its contributions would be very beneficial to the project.

WHO Senior Advisor Bruce Aylward said during a press briefing: “India is certainly eligible, like all countries in the world, to be part of the COVAX Facility and discussions are going on in that regard. We will welcome India’s full participation as a member of COVAX. India has extensive experience with vaccines.”

COVAX Facility aims for equitable vaccine distribution

The WHO and the GAVI Vaccine Alliance are leading the COVAX Facility project, which consists of more than 170 countries participating in discussions aimed at speeding up the process of developing a global vaccine for Covid-19. One of the overriding goals of the COVAX Facility mission is to ensure that all participating countries will receive an equitable amount of doses of any vaccine developed, particularly those countries labeled as high-risk areas.

India is currently the second worst-hit country by the pandemic behind the US, with the nation adding around a million new Covid-19 infections to its tally over the past month. 

Although India's total caseload has reached nearly 4.3 million cases, the country is registering good recovery and fatality rates.