64 ambassadors and high commissioners of various countries will today visit two key biotech companies in Hyderabad that are developing vaccines against coronavirus.
The envoys were seen in a flight to the city this morning for the vaccine tour, the first such initiative.
The envoys will visit Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech and Biological E.
Last month, the Foreign Ministry had briefed over 190 heads of diplomatic missions and representatives of leading international organisations on Covid-related issues.
Bharat Biotech, developing India’s first indigenous vaccine candidate, Covaxin, with Indian Council of Medical Research, on Monday requested for approval of its vaccine. Bharat Biotech is the third drugmaker to request for government approval of its Covid vaccine.
Biological E. Ltd had said in November that it has started human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate and expects results by February.
The drugmaker initiated phase I and phase II trials of its vaccine candidate – being developed with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and U.S.-based Dynavax Technologies Corp – after getting the green signal from the Drugs Controller General of India.
The envoys’ visit to the pharma firms is the second VIP visit after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 28 visited India’s top vaccine hubs in three cities to review the development of coronavirus vaccine and the manufacturing process.
Meanwhile, an expert panel will today review the requests by two pharmaceutical firms, the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech – to approve emergency use of their coronavirus vaccines in India, sources told NDTV. Pfizer’s application will not be considered today as the pharma giant is not making a presentation today since its experts from US are not available.
Britain on Tuesday became the first Western country to start mass coronavirus vaccinations with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.