DG ICMR Balram Bhargav – Punekar News

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Pune, November 16, 2021: The Maharashtra Forestry Department has played an important role in vaccine development in India, said Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargav.

He was speaking on the occasion of the publication of the book entitled “Going viral: the making of Covaxin inside story”.

Bhargav said, “The journey began when the ICMR-accredited National Institute of Virology (NIV) laboratory began researching vaccine development. About 20 monkeys contributed to the development of the Covaxin vaccine. The research had reached the level where it can develop antibodies against the animal. To move forward, we had to do tests on monkeys because their body structure is the same as that of the human body. Therefore, it was decided that tests will be carried out on monkeys belonging to the species Rhesus Macaque.

During the lockdown, the monkeys were sent back to the deep forest as there was a food shortage. Therefore, forestry department officials searched thousands of square kilometers of forest and eventually found the monkeys in Nagpur. After tests on these monkeys, the vaccine was developed. There was therefore a significant contribution from the Maharashtra Forest Department in the development of the vaccine. ”

In this book, DG Bhargav elaborated on the challenges facing Indian scientists for the development of drugs against the coronavirus, creating a network of laboratories to develop the vaccine, the diagnosis, the new treatment technologies up to the serological survey.

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