SEASON OF HOPE, PRIDE

In the season of vaccination, optimism is high about the return of normal life to India and the wider world. With nearly five lakh inoculations done in the past three days, India is proud to have fielded two vaccines manufactured within the facilities here. The effect of these has been impressive. Minor reactions were reported in some cases, which were forewarned by medical practitioners as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Two deaths, one each from UP and Karnataka, were reported by way of post-inoculation incidents. Doctors were quick to say these were not linked to the effect of the vaccine.

When millions and crores line up in phases, such instances are but natural. Bharat Biotech, one of the vaccine producers, has issued an advisory as to who should take more care before the vaccination and consult doctors. Vaccination drives in other continents too are progressing smoothly without any cause for concern. Overall, the mood today is one of optimism that the world can rein in the pandemic that brought life across the globe to a virtual standstill for weeks and months since March last.

For India, this scenario presented a great opportunity. The nation might not have made any major mark in most fields in the past three quarters of a century after Independence. But, by way of private initiative, the pharmaceutical sector and the Information Technology field have put India on a high pedestal in recent years. Successive governments had less to do with this; and these being technology-related fields, politicians’ interferences – a major dampener to enterprise– were to the minimum. So is the case with Space technology too.

India is now looked upon by several nations near and far for supply of Covid-19 vaccines, and orders are flowing in. Exports would start from Wednesday. Starting with Bhutan and Bangladesh, shipments by Pune’s Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine maker, will soon be reaching Brazil and many other nations. The Pune firm is waiting for nod from WHO for start of supply to several nations. Bharat Biotech vaccines too will be allowed export. Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal and the Maldives are waiting for deliveries from India. Pakistan is in a mood to turn to India.

This is bound to give a boost overall to the Indian pharmaceutical sector because of the name it earns now. Clearly, this will be a silver lining in a sky where gathering clouds have caused huge worry for the world for as long as a year now.

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