Three-city vaccine tour: PM Narendra Modi takes stock of COVID-19 vaccine development
Pune: In a review of the COVID-19 vaccine progress and its distribution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited the facilities of three biotechnology companies in the country. He visited three places that are testing different vaccine candidates to tackle the COVID-19.
PM Modi's office said that the visit was meant to help him get a "first-hand perspective of the preparations, challenges and roadmap in India's endeavour to vaccinate its citizens".
Zydus Cadila’s Plant, Ahmedabad
The Prime Minister on Saturday started his three-city vaccine tour with a visit to pharma giant Zydus Cadila's plant in Ahmedabad.
"Visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to know more about the indigenous DNA based vaccine being developed by Zydus Cadila. I compliment the team behind this effort for their work. Government of India is actively working with them to support them in this journey," PM Modi tweeted.
The drug maker has announced that the first phase of clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, ZyCoV-D, has been completed and it commenced the second phase of clinical trials in August.
Bharat Biotech, Hyderabad
PM Modi next paid visit to Hyderabad’s Bharat Biotech manufacturing facility in Genome Valley, which is testing ‘Covaxin’, a candidate developed based on an inactivated strain sourced from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR.
The company in a statement said the Prime Minister’s visit “serves as a great inspiration to our team, and further reinforces our commitment towards scientific discovery, solving public health issues and the fight against COVID-19”.
Serum Institute, Pune
In the final leg of his three-cities tour, PM Modi visited the facilities of the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune.
Serum Institute of India has partnered with pharma giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University. They will be applying in the next two weeks for an emergency licence to allow the use of the ‘Covishield’ vaccine, CEO Adar Poonawalla said.
After the visit, PM Modi on his Twitter handle wrote, "I 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."
Adar Poonawala, CEO and owner of Serum Institute of India expressed, "It was a great honour for you to have spared the time, to visit us here at Serum Institute to discuss in detail, the complex challenges yet to come and review the vaccine production status."