Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact through video conference with three teams that are developing COVID-19 vaccines. The teams are from Gennova Biopharma, Biological E, and Dr Reddy’s.
The Prime Minister’s Office tweeted that the meeting will be held on Monday (November 30).
Modi just recently concluded a three-city tour to personally review the development of COVID-19 vaccines. He began his tour on November 28 (Saturday) by visiting pharma company Zydus Cadila’s manufacturing facility near Ahmedabad. He then went to Bharat Biotech’s facility in Hyderabad, and finally to Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune. All the three companies are involved in the development of COVID vaccines.
“The scientists expressed joy that the Prime Minister met them face to face in order to boost their morale and help accelerate their efforts at this critical juncture in the vaccine development journey. Prime Minister expressed pride in the fact that India’s indigenous vaccine development has progressed at such a rapid pace so far. He spoke on how India is following sound principles of science in the entire journey of vaccine development, while also asking for suggestions to make the vaccine distribution process better,” the Prime Minister’s Office wrote in an official release.
On Saturday (November 28), SII CEO Adar Poonawalla told a media during a briefing on Covishield, the vaccine candidate being developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca in whose trials the institute is involved, said: “We discussed vaccine implementation plan with PM Modi during his visit.
“We are amazed with what he (PM Modi) already knew. He was impressed with the new facility that we have built. The new facility can deal with more than one billion doses,” Poonawalla said.
SII had said last week that it will sell the Oxford’s vaccine candidate to the government and to pharmacies, respectively, for ₹250 and ₹1,000 for every dose. It has an agreement with the government to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines on a large scale.
Poonawalla had told NDTV that at least 100 million doses will be available by January.
Poonawalla added: “We are hoping to get the vaccine out there as quick as possible. It’ll be in the hands of regulators in a couple of weeks.”