Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited labs in Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad to personally review the COVID-19 vaccine development in India. PM Modi took stock of the work being done so far on the development of the coronavirus vaccine at these research centres.
The PM paid his visit to Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) and reviewed the manufacturing process of COVID-19 vaccine. He interacted with scientists at the SII and went around the facility, taking stock of vaccine development work. The SII Pune has collaborated with the University of Oxford and British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca Plc to manufacture Covidshield vaccine in India.
Sharing his experience with the team at Serum Institute, Prime Minister Modi said, "Had a good interaction with the team at Serum Institute of India. They shared details about their progress so far on how they plan to further ramp up vaccine manufacturing". PM Modi also posted pictures of Serum Institute's manufacturing facility.
Had a good interaction with the team at Serum Institute of India. They shared details about their progress so far on how they plan to further ramp up vaccine manufacturing. Also took a look at their manufacturing facility. pic.twitter.com/PvL22uq0nl— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 28, 2020
Serum Institute of India's Chief executive Officer Adar Poonawalla also took to Twitter to share details about PM Modi's visit to the company's headquarters.
Poonawalla wrote, "Narendra Modi Ji, it was a great honour for you to have spared the time, to visit us here at Serum Institute of India to discuss in detail, the complex challenges yet to come and review the vaccine production status".
Sri @narendramodi Ji, it was a great honour for you to have spared the time, to visit us here at @SerumInstIndia to discuss in detail, the complex challenges yet to come and review the vaccine production status. @PMOIndiapic.twitter.com/p3IEqnN1x4— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) November 28, 2020
This week, the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc claimed that their coronavirus vaccine has shown 90 per cent efficacy when given as a half dose followed by a full dose to a section of volunteers. It was found 62 per cent effective if administered in two full doses.
Serum Institute is in talks with the government to seek emergency use of authorisation in the country. In fact, CEO Poonwalla has expressed confidence that the Covidshield will come to the Indian market by January-end. Additionally, he has assured that the government will get the vaccine at half the price of the market.
Earlier today, PM Modi toured at two other COVID-19 vaccine making biopharma companies-- Gujarat-based Zydus Cadila, and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech. PM Modi began by visiting Zydus Cadila's manufacturing facility near Ahmedabad. Wearing a PPE kit, he reviewed the vaccine development process at the company's research centre, located over 20 km from Ahmedabad.
At the Bharat Biotech's facility in Hyderabad, the Prime Minister reviewed the progress of Covaxin, a vaccine candidate being developed by the company. He also interacted with Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella, scientists and senior management.
Covaxin, being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Virology, is undergoing Phase 3 trial.