(Image: @narendramodi twitter handle)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his three-city tour to personally review vaccine development and manufacturing process for potential COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the country.
He visited Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad, and Serum Institute of India in Pune.
The Prime Minister stressed that India considers vaccines as not only vital to good health, but also as a global good, and it is India’s duty to assist other countries, including the nations in our neighbourhood, in the collective fight against the virus, said the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
At Zydus Cadilla in Ahmedabad, the first stop on his tour, Modi spent over an hour at the plant. Modi intended to learn more about the indigenous DNA vaccine candidate being developed by the firm.
Shortly after his visit to the Hyderabad-based firm, Modi tweeted:
The Prime Minister then departed via flight to Hyderabad at 11:40 am, and landed at Hakimpet Air Force station near Hyderabad around 1 pm to proceed towards Bharat Biotech vaccine manufacturing facility at Genome valley, located around 20 km from the air station, by road.
At his visit to the Hyderabad-based firm's premises, Modi reviewed the development process of Covaxin. He also interacted with the directors of Bharat Biotech's Chairman and Managing Directior Krishna Ella, scientists and senior management.
In his tweet about the visit, Modi congratulated the scientists for their progress in the development of their indigenous vaccine candidate:
Shortly after his visit to Bharat Biotech, the PM set off to Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).
Upon landing in Pune at 4:30 pm, Modi proceeded by helicopter to SII at Manjari, located 17 km from the airport.
At the institute, Modi tweeted:
After the trip concluded, in a press conference, Adar Poonawalla, CEO and owner, SII said the firm was ready to apply for an emergency licence in next 2 weeks.
Poonawalla said he doesn't see any need for additional trials in India other than a trial for under 18 age group, after four months following the licensure. "That's the same thing for all vaccine candidates be it US or Europe," he said.