This Article is From May 23, 2022

"We Know What Went Wrong": Vaccine-Maker Adar Poonawalla's New Pitch

Adar Poonawalla also told NDTV about the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines that he hopes would "even be able to block transmission".

Adar Poonawalla said he plans to discuss a "global pandemic treaty" at Davos.

New Delhi:

By the time the next pandemic rolls in, Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive at the world's biggest vaccine maker Serum Institute of India, hopes the world will be better prepared, and to do so, countries will agree on a "global pandemic treaty".

"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," he told NDTV on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"We all know what went wrong and what went right in this pandemic and some of the things that went wrong in terms of sharing of raw materials and vaccines, recognising vaccine certificates, global harmonisation of clinical trials and manufacturing, making more vaccines and treatments accessible globally - these are the kind of things I would hope to establish," Mr Poonawalla said.

"It may not be enforceable, but at least it offers some kind of framework and commitment like you see for climate change," he added.

According to him, the treaty he envisions would have at least four major cornerstones: A free flow of raw materials and vaccines, sharing of intellectual property on a commercial basis that rewards the innovator, a global agreement of regulatory standards and universal travel vaccine certificates on a digital platform.

And a draft is ready, he 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," Mr Poonawalla said.

Adar Poonawalla also told NDTV about the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines that he hopes would "even be able to block transmission".

"Vaccines have prevented hospitalisation and severe disease. But to deal with future mutant variants and to prevent breakthrough infections the real research is on now which does take a bit of time and maybe in a year or two we could see a vaccine that prevents transmission," he said.

Giving a glimpse into what he plans next - diversifying his multi-billion-dollar business into renewable energy - he said, "We've bought a Swiss company with technology to make fuel cells and electrolysers. If you are talking about green energy, you need the technology to convert solar and wind into hydrogen, and transport it. So, I am waiting on India to expand its infrastructure and have policies which would then make sense where you can invest in solar and wind."