A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address at the UN General Assembly, assured the world that India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help humanity in the COVID-19 crisis, world's largest vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adar Poonawalla said SII also shares and applauds his vision.
On Saturday, Adar had expressed concerns around production and distribution of the coronavirus vaccine in the country. He took to Twitter to ask if the Centre had Rs 80,000 crore available with it over next one year to distribute COVID-19 vaccine to all people in India.
"Quick question; will the government of India have 80,000 crores available, over the next year?" Poonawalla asked in a tweet. "Because that's what @MoHFW_INDIA needs, to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India. This is the next concerning the challenge we need to tackle. @PMOIndia," the CEO of the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume tweeted.
On PM Modi's speech at the UNGA, Adar expressed confidence that India was ready to take on the next big challenge of distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.
"We share and applaud your vision Narendra Modi ji, on providing vaccines to the global community. It is a proud moment for India, thank you for your leadership and support. It is clear that all your arrangements for India will take care of all needs for the Indian people," Adar Poonawalla tweeted on Sunday.
We share and applaud your vision @narendramodi ji, on providing vaccines to the global community. It is a proud moment for India, thank you for your leadership and support. It is clear that all your arrangements for India will take care of all needs for the Indian people. https://t.co/b57TH8fDSBAdar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) September 27, 2020
In his address to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, Modi said that "as the largest vaccine producing country of the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today. India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis."
He said that even during these very difficult times of the raging pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry of India had sent essential medicines to more than 150 countries.
Appreciating PM Modi's gesture, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also thanked PM Modi for his commitment to solidarity. "Thank you for your commitment to solidarity, Prime Minister @narendramodi. Only together, by mobilising our forces and resources jointly for the common good, can we end the #COVID-19 pandemic," WHO Director-General Ghebreyesus said in a tweet.
Modi also told the 193-member UN General Assembly that, "we are moving ahead with phase 3 clinical trials in India." Notably, the SII has partnered with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca for manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine candidate, developed by the University of Oxford. The company is currently conducting the Phase 3 clinical trials in different cities of India.
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