Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed coronavirus vaccine development process across various centres in the country. PM Modi visited three vaccine development hubs including Zydus Cadila's plant in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech which is working on India's own vaccine named Covaxin in Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India in Pune.
PM Modi visited Zydus Cadila's plant near Ahmedabad. Official sources said though the state government had sent names of Chief Minister and other dignitaries to receive Modi at the Air Force Station, the PMO was given clearance for only five officials. An official release from the PIB said Modi visited the facility to personally review the COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing process.
Later, he landed at Hakimpet Air Force station near at around 1 pm in Hyderabad, as part of his 3-city tour to take the stock of COVID-19 vaccine development. He was received by Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Director General of Police Mahendar Reddy and other officials.
He proceeded to the facility at Genome valley, a life sciences cluster about 20 km from the AF base by road amid tight security.
Modi interacted with Bharat Biotechs Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella, scientists and senior management, who appraised the PM of the progress of the vaccine candidate. He spent about one hour at the facility.
"At the Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad, was briefed about their indigenous COVID-19 vaccine. Congratulated the scientists for their progress in the
trials so far. Their team is closely working with ICMR to facilitate speedy progress," Modi tweeted after the visit.
"The management gave a presentation to Modi and explained the progress of Covaxin. The Prime Minister appreciated them," company sources
After leaving the facility, the PM got down from his convoy at the main gate and waved to media persons and the cheering crowd standing nearby.
Covaxin, being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Virology, is now undergoing phase-3 trials.
The Phase-3 trials involve 26,000 volunteers across India, conducted in partnership with ICMR. It is the largest clinical trial conducted for a COVID-19
vaccine in India. The vaccine is being developed and will be manufactured at Bharat Biotech's BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) facility in Genome Valley in Hyderabad.
In Pune, the Prime Minister went around the Serum Institute's plant premises accompanied by senior officials of the company, who explained the details of the vaccine manufacturing process.
"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," Modi tweeted after his visit, and shared pictures.
An official release from the PIB said Modi visited the facility to personally review the COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing process.