UN General Assembly chief says he got stung with India’s Covishield
The president of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, said he had received both doses of the Covishield vaccine made in India, like much of other countries in the world.
The Covishield vaccine, which was developed by Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, is manufactured in India by the Serum Institute of India, based in Pune.
“On vaccines, that’s a very technical question you asked me. I have Covishield from India, I have both doses. I don’t know how many countries would say Covishield is acceptable or not, but a large part of the countries have Covishield, ”Shahid said at his first press conference here on Friday.
He was responding to a question about whether a COVID vaccine should be recognized and considered or those that have been validated by the World Health Organization or any other group.
“And I survived. But let someone else, a doctor make that call, not me,” he added with a laugh.
India has exported over 66 million doses of vaccine to nearly 100 countries through subsidies, commercial shipments and the COVAX facility. The Maldives, Shahid’s home country, were among the first nations to receive India-made vaccines in January when 100,000 doses of Covishield were sent to Male.
In total, the Maldives received a total of 3.12 lakh doses of Made-in-India Covid vaccine through grants, commercial shipments and the COVAX facility.
The UK initially refused to recognize Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. However, following strong criticism from India of the decision, the UK changed its new guidelines on September 22 and included the vaccine.
However, the move brought no relief from the quarantine rules for Indian travelers vaccinated with two doses of Covishield. British officials later said the UK was having issues with India’s vaccine certification process, not the Covishield vaccine.
Under new UK rules which take effect from Monday, fully vaccinated Indians will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine as the UK has issues with India’s Covid-19 vaccine certification.
India has decided to impose reciprocal restrictions on all British nationals arriving in the country, official sources in New Delhi said on Friday, as the contentious issue over the UK’s non-recognition of vaccine certificates Indians could not be resolved despite a series of technical level tests. talks.
Shahid, who plans to convene a high-level meeting of the General Assembly in January to take stock of the global immunization effort and equity, said messages he had received so far on vaccines by listening to world leaders in the general debate, has been most positive from the United States, China, India, many corners of the world, vaccine producers themselves.
“And I intend to use the convening power of the President of the General Assembly to bring them all together in January, and my desire is to make sure that we all come out of the January meeting with a great schedule.” more optimistic where we will be able to vaccinate the whole world by the end of 2022, “he said.