Abdulla Shahid, the President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly has said that he had received the two doses of the Covishield vaccine manufactured in India, as have a large portion of other countries around the world.
The Covishield vaccine, which has been developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, is indigenously produced in India by Pune-based Serum Institute of India.
Shahid said at his first press conference here on Friday, “On vaccines, that’s a very technical question you have asked me. I got Covishield from India, I’ve got the two doses. I don’t know how many countries would say that Covishield is acceptable or not, but a large portion of the countries have got Covishield.”
He was answering to a question on whether any coronavirus vaccine should be recognised and considered or the ones that have been authenticated by the World Health Organisation or any other group.
And I’ve survived. But let someone else, a medical person make that call, not me, he added with a laugh.
Over 66 million vaccine doses have been exported by India to nearly 100 countries through allowances, commercial shipments and the COVAX facility. The Maldives, home country of Shahid, was among the first nations to receive the India-made vaccines in January when 100,000 doses of Covishield were shipped to Male.
In all, the Maldives has received a complete of three .12 lakh doses of Made-in-India Covid vaccines through grants, commercial shipments and therefore the COVAX facility. The UK had initially refused to recognise Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. However, following India’s strong criticism of the decision, the UK on September 22 amended its new guidelines and included the vaccine.
However, the move didn’t provide any relief from quarantine rules for Indian travellers vaccinated with two doses of Covishield. Later, British officials said the United Kingdom has issues with India’s vaccine certification process and not with the Covishield vaccine. Under the new British rules that are coming into effect from Monday, fully vaccinated Indians will need to undergo 10-day quarantine because the UK has issues with India’s Covid-19 vaccine certification.
India has decided to impose reciprocal curbs against all British nationals arriving within the country, official sources in New Delhi said on Friday, because the contentious issue concerning the UK not recognising Indian vaccine certificates could not be resolved despite holding a series of technical-level talks. Shahid, who plans to convene a high-level meeting of the overall Assembly in January to require stock of the worldwide vaccination effort and equity, said the messages that he had received so far on vaccines in listening to world leaders at the General Debate, has been most positive from the United States, from China, from India, from many, many corners of the planet , from the vaccine producers themselves.
And I intend to utilise the convening power of the President of the General Assembly to bring all of them together in January, and my desire is to make sure that we all begin of the January meeting with a way more optimistic timeline where hereby we’ll be ready to vaccinate the whole world by end of 2022, he said.