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Great to see India's leadership in innovation, vaccine making: Bill Gates

It's great to see India's leadership in scientific innovation and vaccine manufacturing capability as the world works to end the COVID-19 pandemic, tweets the billionaire philanthropist

Microsoft co-founder and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chairman Bill Gates Microsoft co-founder and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chairman Bill Gates

Microsoft co-founder and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chairman Bill Gates has appreciated India's efforts against coronavirus after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India is all set to launch the world's biggest vaccination drive against coronavirus.

Gates said India is a leader in innovation and manufacturing capability. "It's great to see India's leadership in scientific innovation and vaccine manufacturing capability as the world works to end the COVID-19 pandemic," he tweeted.

The Prime Minister on Monday said India is proud of the contributions of its scientists and technicians in the fight against coronavirus and that the world's largest coronavirus vaccination drive is all set to begin in India.

Also read: COVID-19 pandemic has taken global health progress back by 25 years: Gates Foundation

Modi, during the inauguration of National Atomic Timescale and Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravya at the National Metrology Conclave via a video-conferencing, said: "Today, India is among the top 50 countries in global innovation ranking. The collaboration between industry and institutions is being strengthened in India," Prime Minister Modi added.

The PM's remarks came a day after India's drug regulator  approved two COVID-19 vaccines -- Covishield and Covaxin for restricted emergency use.

Oxford-AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine Covishield is a  Recombinant Chimpanzee Adenovirus vector vaccine. It is being manufactured by Serum Institute of India. It is found to be 70.42 per cent efficient.

The Bharat Biotech vaccine, developed in collaboration with ICMR and NIV (Pune) is a Whole Virion Inactivated coronavirus vaccine. The company received the regulatory approval based on initial trial data, though it's yet to conclude the Phase III efficacy trial.

As part of India's mega vaccination plan, around 30 crore priority groups will be vaccinated first. As per top government officials, the Centre aims to vaccinate 30 crore people from priority groups first. These 30 crore Indians come from three groups - 1 crore healthcare providers, 2 crore frontline workers and 27 crore people over 50 and under 50 with co-morbidities.

Also read: India's role in coronavirus vaccine production critical in combating pandemic: Bill Gates