Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting pharmaceutical facilities at three cities today to review development and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Prime Minister has arrived at Bharat Biotech's facility in Hyderabad. Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, called Covaxin, is currently undergoing phase-3 trials.
Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Director General of Police and other officials received PM Modi at Hakimpet Air Force station, PTI reported.
"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 in a tweet.Earlier today, PM Modi visited pharmaceutical major Zydus Cadila's facility situated at Changodar industrial area near Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
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. pic.twitter.com/ZIZy9NSY3o
Frequently Asked QuestionsView moreShowView moreHow does a vaccine work?
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.How many types of vaccines are there?
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 28, 2020
PM Modi spent more than an hour at the Zydus facility, before leaving for the airport, PTI reported.
"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.
PM Modi is also scheduled to visit Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) later today.
Maharashtra Governor B S Koshyari and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will not accompany Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to SII's facility, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a statement.
SII has partnered with British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford for clinical trials of a potential vaccine against COVID-19 .
"As India enters a decisive phase of the fight against COVID-19, PM Modi's visit to these facilities and discussions with the scientists will help him get a first hand perspective of the preparations, challenges and roadmap in India’s endeavour to vaccinate its citizens," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted on November 27.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Pune at 5:10pm and is enroute to visit Serum Institute of India (SII), another facility that is undertaking the process of developing a potential candidate for COVID-19.
— ANI (@ANI) November 28, 2020
Adar Poonawala, CEO and Owner of SII addressed the PM's visit and said:
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. @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/p3IEqnN1x4— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) November 28, 2020
— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) November 28, 2020
On the visit, PM Modi said that he had a good interaction with SII and had a look at their 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
Poonawala has also mentioned that the institute has applied in the process of applying for emergency use authorization of Covishield in the next two weeks. He also said that the Centre may purchase 300-400 million doses by July 2021, in a press conference.
Concluding his three city tour to conduct an extensive review of the vaccine development, the PM stressed on the notion that India considers vaccines as not only vital to good health but also as a global good.He also mentioned that it is India's duty to assist other countries, including the nations in our neighbourhood, in the collective fight against the virus, reports said.