PM Modi visits vaccine plants in 3 cities, reviews progress | India News – Times of India


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PUNE/AHMEDABAD/HYDERABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited the units of three vaccine manufacturers in India to review the progress of vaccine development and manufacturing process — Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune.
Modi’s first stop was Ahmedabad where he reviewed the vaccine development and manufacturing process of Zydus Group’s indigenous plasmid DNA vaccine – ZyCov-D.
“What struck me and left me impressed was PM @narendramodi’s emphasis on science and vision for global good,” Zydus group chairman Pankaj Patel tweeted after PM’s visit.
The company has completed the phase-II human clinical trials of ZyCov-D and the results are currently being analysed. “Soon, the data will be presented (to the regulator) and the third phase will be kicked off. The phase-III trial is expected to begin in December and we hope to complete the third phase trials by March,” Patel told TOI.
“The vaccine is likely to come to market after March next year, subject to regulatory approvals. The production capacity is now being ramped up and the expansion will be over by January. With this, Zydus Cadila’s vaccine capacity will increase to 100 to 150 million doses per annum,” added Patel.
Later, Modi visited Bharat Biotech’s facility at Genome Valley in Hyderabad as part of his three-city tour.
The PM interacted with the company’s brass, including its chairman and managing director Dr Krishna Ella, as well as scientists involved with the development of Covaxin, India’s first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine that is being developed by the Hyderabad-based vaccine maker.
The Phase III trials of Covaxin, involving over 26,000 volunteers at 25 sites across the country, kicked off earlier this month. The first and second phase of human trials at Covaxin involved around 1,000 volunteers. Bharat Biotech had earlier indicated that going by the results of Phase I and II trials, Covaxin’s efficacy is expected to be well over 60%.
His last stop was at the vaccine major Serum Institute of India’s new plant at Manjari and interacted with its team about the manufacturing, logistics and distribution of its Covid-19 vaccine — Covishield.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “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.”
Serum Institute of India (SII) has partnered with the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca for the manufacture and distribution of the vaccine.
Its owner and chief executive officer (CEO) Adar Poonawalla said there was a discussion with the Prime Minister regarding the implementation plan of vaccine rollout. The new facility which will ramp up the capacity to 2 billion doses from 1.5 billion a year was also showcased to the PM, he said. At present, the company has stockpiled about 40 million doses, and will ramp up to 100 million doses per month after January.
Worldwide, everyone is dependent and looking forward to vaccines coming out of India which will be in large volumes and at an affordable price, as the country has about 50-60% global capacity, he said, adding India and Covax countries will be our priority.
A release by the PMO later said Modi stressed on that fact that “India considers vaccines as not only vital to good health but also as a global good and that it is India’s duty to assist other countries, including the nations in India’s neighbourhood, in the collective fight against Covid-19.”
He also asked scientists for their suggestions on how the country could improve its regulatory processes further, the PMO release said.



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