Pune: United States’ Mission India Charg d’Affaires Patricia Lacina on Wednesday asserted that the long-standing relationship between her country and India in the health sector has had a profound impact on the lives of people in both the countries as well as globally.
A US delegation comprising Lacina, US Consul General in Mumbai Mike Hankey, CEO of Novovax Inc Stanley C Erck, and others visited Serum Institute of India (SII) headquarters in Pune and met its CEO Adar Poonawalla to celebrate 75 years of the US-India bilateral partnership.
“The long-standing relationship in health between the United States and India has had a profound impact on the lives of people across both countries and globally. The partnership is vital in addressing the challenges of our times,” Lacina was quoted as saying in a release.
“The public-private economic partnership between both countries plays a key role in ensuring the health and prosperity of our people. I am delighted to be in Pune and visit the Serum Institute of India, which has helped save lives around the world during the pandemic,” she added.
Erck said that India played a crucially important role during the devastating pandemic.
“As it emerges as one of the fastest-growing large economies in the world, it will continue to have a powerful impact on all fronts. The US-India ties are even stronger than before and aligned in values and vision. Novavax and Serum Institute of India, are committed to growing these partnerships to leverage our collective dedication, ingenuity, and expertise to protect the health of people everywhere,” he added.
SII and Novavax are key partners in the development and manufacturing of Novavax’ vaccine, marketed by Novavax as Nuvaxovid and by SII as Covovax, from its facility in Pune. The vaccine is already being exported to highly regulated markets such as Europe, Australia, the US and many other countries around the world, the release said.
While addressing the gathering, SII CEO Poonawalla said that the US and India have been close allies for the longest time and together they have created several milestones that have benefitted the citizens and the world at large.
“The strong cooperation between both the countries on global vaccination and pandemic relief has been inspiring. And to keep the growth curve upward and onwards, we will continue to play our role sincerely,” he added.
The release noted that recognising India’s partnership and commitment to the world during the pandemic, the event was a celebration of the long-standing relationship in health between the two countries.
“With the US Food and Drug Administration’s (US FDA) recent authorisation of Novavax’s Nuvaxovid vaccine, SII has become the first Indian manufacturer to access the US vaccine market. Approximately 3.5 million SII-made doses of the Novavax vaccine have already been sent to the United States,” reads the note.
The delegates noted the critical role played by US-India cooperation in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and other global health challenges. They welcomed the partnership between Novavax and SII on vaccine development and manufacturing and appreciated how this alliance increased global access to safe, effective, and affordable COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr Preetha Rajaraman, HHS Health Attach , and FDA Country Director Dr Sarah McMullen were also present during the visit. (PTI)