Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited India’s top vaccine pharmas in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune to review the developmental work on coronavirus vaccine.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited India’s top vaccine pharmas to review the developmental work on coronavirus vaccine.
PM Narendra Modi first landed in Ahmedabad on Saturday morning to review Covid-19 vaccine progress. He visited pharma major Zydus Cadila’s plant near Ahmedabad to get information about its vaccine development. Wearing a PPE kit, PM Narendra reviewed the vaccine development process at the company’s research centre.
Zydus Cadila had announced that the phase-I clinical trial of its vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D was over and it has commenced phase-II clinical trials from August.
“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 Narendra Modi tweeted.
After PM Modi’s visit to Zydus Cadila, the company’s Chairman Pankaj Patel said: “Today, honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modiji visited our Zydus Biotech park. This visit has encouraged us in doing more and doing fast.”
“His knowledge, wisdom about the problem, and his guidance have been valuable for our scientific staff and for all of us,” Patel added.
PM Modi, who landed at Ahmedabad at 9.10 am, spent over an hour at the plant, before leaving for the airport, from where he left for Hyderabad at 11.40 am.
PM Modi at Hyderabad’s Bharat Biotech
After Ahmedabad, PM Narendra Modi reached Hyderabad to take stock of the work being done on development of coronavirus vaccines at pharma major Bharat Biotech.
PM Modi landed at Hakimpet Air Force station near Hyderabad around 1 pm and proceeded to Bharat Biotech’s vaccine manufacturing facility at Genome valley, located around 20 km from the air station, by road.
At the Bharat Biotech facility, PM Marendra 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.
PM Narendra Modi, who tweeted about his visit to the Bharat Biotech facility, said he was briefed about the progress on the Covid-19 vaccine.
Covaxin, being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Virology, is undergoing phase-3 trials.
PM Modi also said that the team at Bharat Biotech facility is working closely working with ICMR to “facilitate speedy progress” of the coronavirus vaccine.
“At the Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad, was briefed about their indigenous Covid-19 vaccine. Congratulated the scientists for their progress in the trials so far. Their team is closely working with ICMR to facilitate speedy progress,” PM Modi said on Twitter.
Reacting to PM Narendra Modi’s visit, Bharat Biotech facility 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 nation’s fight against Covid-19.”
In a statement, Bharat Biotech facility said: “The Covaxin phase III trial is being conducted across India in 26,000 participants. The vaccine will be produced in the only-of-its-kind Biosafety Level 3 production facility in the world.”
At 3.20 pm, PM Narendra Modi took off for Pune, where he landed at 4.30 pm on the last leg of his three-city vaccine work review visit.
PM Narendra Modi then proceeded by helicopter to the campus of the Serum Institute of India (SII) at Manjari, located 17 km from the airport.
PM Narendra Modi, while speaking about his visit to the Serum Institute of India, said he had a “good interaction” with the team at the pharma company. PM Modi said the team shared details about their progress so far on how they plan to further ramp up vaccine manufacturing.
“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,” PM Narendra Modi tweeted.
Serum Institute of India has partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University for the vaccine.
Shortly after PM Modi’s visit, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said that the Pune-based pharma company is in the process of applying for emergency use authorization of ‘Covishield’ in the next two weeks. Covishield is the experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca in affiliation with the SII.