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Nirmala Sitharaman discusses post-pandemic economic recovery, other issues with World Bank chief

''Both sides discussed various issues including #COVID #vaccination, #economicrecovery, preparations for #CoP26, initiative of #WBG for increasing lending space for India, IDA 20 replenishment, knowledge partnership with @WorldBank,'' Finance Ministry said in a series of tweets.

October 16, 2021 / 12:02 PM IST
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman discussed the post-pandemic economic recovery, India's major role in the global fight against COVID-19, and preparations for the upcoming Climate Change Conference among other issues during her meeting with World Bank President David Malpass.

Sitharaman met Malpass at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC on Friday.

''Both sides discussed various issues including #COVID #vaccination, #economicrecovery, preparations for #CoP26, initiative of #WBG for increasing lending space for India, IDA 20 replenishment, knowledge partnership with @WorldBank,'' Finance Ministry said in a series of tweets.

During the meeting, Sitharaman shared the measures being taken by India to contain the spread of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, including the major role played by India on the global COVID-19 effort, the ministry said.

She appreciated the World Bank Group for their initiative for increasing lending space for India to enhance the availability of finance for development.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The minister also mentioned that the focus should be on technologies that need to be moved from lab to field and those that require targeted global research in the pursuit of low carbon growth.

She "highlighted three broad suggestions, including strengthening #LighthouseIndia, #technology and a special focus on #FinancialSectorReforms and #infrastructure sector to strengthen the knowledge partnership with #WBG," it said.

Earlier, in her address to the Development Committee of the World Bank, she said India has not only faced the COVID-19 crisis with great resilience and fortitude but has also played a major role and ''walked the talk'' on the global fight against the pandemic.

She highlighted that the measures taken by the government have set a strong foundation for the country's sustained economic growth.

She said the Indian government, besides taking economic relief measures, has also undertaken significant structural reforms to turn the crisis into an opportunity and emerge stronger.

The minister also discussed the preparations for the upcoming Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

From here, she will go to New York for an interactive session with the business community before flying back home. She started her week-long trip from Boston.

In addition to her meetings at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Sitharaman had more than 25 bilateral engagements.
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