SII Chief Adar Poonawalla Hopes for a Global Treaty To Gear Up for Next Pandemic

The SII chief said the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines might "be able to block transmission" by next 2 years.

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Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive at the world's biggest vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII), said on Monday, 23 May, that he hoped world leaders and multilateral organisations would agree on a ‘global pandemic treaty’ to be better prepared against the next pandemic.

Poonawalla, who is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, told NDTV,

“I am hoping to use the platform here and everyone whether it is the world leaders and multilateral organisations to draft some sort of a global pandemic treaty which would help the global solidarity of coming together.”

Four Cornerstones of the Treaty

He added that he envisioned a treaty that contains four major aspects:

  • Free flow of raw materials and vaccines

  • Sharing of intellectual property on a commercial basis that rewards the innovator

  • Global agreement of regulatory standards

  • Universal travel vaccine certificates on a digital platform

Poonawalla further stated that he hoped to establish a draft in terms of global harmonisation of clinical trials and manufacturing while making more vaccines and treatments accessible worldwide.

The draft might not be enforceable but would provide a framework and global commitment, similar to treaties enforced for climate change, he said.

He further said, "I have been working on it, and I'm going to be circulating it at Davos in some closed-door sessions with multilateral organisations. It has to be one of those organisations that take it forward. One individual country can't."

Poonawalla said that the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines might "even be able to block transmission" by next two years and added that research is underway to deal with future mutant variants and to prevent breakthrough infections.

(With inputs from NDTV.)

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