Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit India’s top vaccine hubs today to personally review the vaccine development and manufacturing process. The visit, PM Modi’s office said, was meant to help him get a “first-hand perspective of the preparations, challenges and roadmap in India’s endeavour to vaccinate its citizens”.
As per schedule, PM Modi will begin his three-city vaccine tour with a visit to pharma major Zydus Cadila’s plant near Ahmedabad at 9:30 am. The drug-maker has announced that the phase-I clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, ZyCoV-D, has been completed and it has commenced phase-II clinical trials from August.
From Ahmedabad, PM Modi will fly to Pune where Serum Institute of India (SII), which has partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca and the Oxford University for a COVID-19 vaccine, is based. PM Modi is expected to review the status of the vaccine, including its launch, production and distribution mechanisms during the visit.
PM Modi will then travel to Hyderabad and visit Bharat BioTech, which is working on Covaxin, pitched as India’s first indigenous vaccine candidate. The Prime Minister is expected to reach at 3:40 pm and after a visit to the facility between 4 and 5 pm, he would fly out at 5:40 pm.
“As India enters a decisive phase of the fight against COVID-19, PM Narendra 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,” PMO tweeted yesterday.
On November 24, Prime Minister while speaking with chief ministers of various states over the deteriorating pandemic situation in their states at a virtual meeting advised the states to establish cold storage facilities for COVID-19 vaccine beforehand and suggested them to prepare and send a plan for its distribution to the Central government.