'I got Covishield from India': UN General Assembly president Abdulla Shahid

Covishield, the Covid-19 vaccine, has been developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).
Shahid plans to convene a high-level meeting of the General Assembly in January. (AP File Photo)
Shahid plans to convene a high-level meeting of the General Assembly in January. (AP File Photo)
Published on Oct 02, 2021 12:50 PM IST
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By | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi

President of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid has said he has received two doses of Covishield, the Covid-19 vaccine manufactured in India, and “survived”. Shahid was responding to a question on whether any Covid-19 vaccine should be recognised and considered or only the ones validated by the World Health Organization or any other group. "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,” Shahid said at his first press conference in Washington on Friday, PTI reported.

“And I have survived. But let someone else, a medical person make that call, not me,” the 59-year-old added with a laugh about Covishield developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).

Also read | India hits back at UK with quarantine rules

Shahid said the messages that he received so far on vaccines from world leaders at the General Debate, “has been most positive from the United States, from China, from India, from many, many corners of the world, 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 come out of the January meeting with a much more optimistic timeline where hereby we will be able to vaccinate the entire world by end of 2022,” he said.

Shahid, who belongs to the Maldives, was referring to his plans to convene a high-level meeting of the General Assembly in January to take stock of the global vaccination effort and equity.

Also read | Vaccine certification: Poonawalla says rules for entry into UK are ‘total chaos’

Shahid’s comments come as India has decided to impose reciprocal curbs against all British nationals arriving in the country, who will have to undergo 10-day mandatory quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated, amid a vaccine certification row between the two countries. UK nationals. The row erupted because Indians travelling to the UK will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine under new British travel rules that come into force from October 4. The UK has also failed to recognise Covishield.

Also read | Engaging with India on vaccine certification: UK reacts to reciprocal move

India has exported more than 66 million vaccine doses to nearly 100 countries through grants, commercial shipments and the COVAX facility. The Maldives was among the first nations to receive the India-made vaccines in January this year when 100,000 doses of Covishield were dispatched to Male. The Maldives has received 312,000 doses of Made-in-India Covid vaccines so far.

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