When will India get coronavirus vaccine? PM Modi looks for answer in whirlwind review; details here

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad (Photo source: Twitter/@narendramodi)Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday personally reviewed coronavirus vaccine development work by various pharma companies in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Pune. The day-long three-city visit was aimed at getting a first-hand perspective of preparations in India’s endeavour to vaccinate its citizens, said Prime Minister’s Office.  PM Modi began his visit with Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad. He then visited Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and followed by a visit to Serum Institute of India in Pune.

Prime Minister’s Office in a release said that scientists expressed joy over PM Modi meeting them face to face in order to boost their morale at the crucial juncture. “He expressed pride in the fact that the development of coronavirus vaccine in India has progressed at such a rapid pace. Prime Minister also spoke about how India has been following sound principles of science for vaccine development and asked for suggestions so that distribution of vaccine can be made better,” the release said.

He tried to seek scientists’ free and frank opinion on how to make the regulatory process better. Later, an overview of how scientists are developing various repurposed and new drugs to fight COVID-19 in a better way was presented. PM Modi also stressed that it is India’s responsibility to help other countries, including neighbours, in the fight against the pandemic.

PM Modi landed at Ahmedabad at 9.10 am and he spent more than an hour at Zydus Cadila’s manufacturing facility near Ahmedabad.

“Visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to understand more about the indigenous DNA based vaccine being developed by the pharma measure. I compliment the entire team behind this effort for their work,” he tweeted after the visit.

Pankaj Patel, chairman of Zydus Cadila, had recently said they aim to complete the trial by March next year and could produce up to 100 million doses in a year.

The Prime Minister later visited Bharat Biotech’s vaccine manufacturing facility at Hyderabad’s Genome valley where he reviewed the progress of Covaxin. The vaccine is undergoing phase-3 trials.

Bharat Biotech is developing Covaxin in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology.

He then visited the Serum Institute of India and reviewed the progress of the ‘Covishield’ vaccine. He was briefed by Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of Poonwalla Group, and his son and SII CEO Adar Poonawalla.

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