PM Modi Urges Vaccine Manufacturers to Scale Up Production
He assured all support for smooth approval of candidate vaccines in their trial phases.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened a meeting with all the vaccine manufacturers at 6 pm on Tuesday, 20 April, and urged them to scale up their production capacity to get most citizens vaccinated in the shortest period of time.
According to The Times of India, the PM said, "Throughout this process of developing and manufacturing vaccines, the country has constantly worked with the spirit of public-private partnership under the ‘Mission COVID Suraksha’, and created an end-to-end vaccine development ecosystem.”
He added that the private health sector has played a big role in the country’s fight against COVID-19.
All vaccine candidates presently in their trial phases will also see all possible support for smooth approval, he added.
The move comes a day after the government announced its decision to permit everyone above 18 years of age to be vaccinated from 1 May, reported PTI.
In the meeting, a video conference, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) coordinated with all the participants and made a presentation.
Representatives of top drugmakers from India and abroad, including the companies whose vaccines have already been approved by the Government of India, were present at the meeting.
Two vaccines that are being manufactured in India are Oxford/Astrazeneca’s vaccine Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute in India, and the indigenously developed Covaxin by Bharat Biotech.
Recently, Russia’s Sputnik V was approved for emergency use in India. It will be imported and sold by Dr Reddy's Laboratories.
Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are some of the other vaccine manufacturers whose shots are available globally and are soon expected in India.
The government has also decided to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure a portion of doses directly from the manufacturers.
The Prime Minister on Monday had held discussions with the representatives of the pharmaceutical industry and the country's top doctors. He has also sought to meet government officials and other stakeholders to discuss the vaccination drives and the COVID-19 situation in the country.
India on Tuesday reported 2,59,170 fresh COVID-19 cases, 1,761 fatalities and 1,54,761 discharges over the preceding 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry. The total case tally has now reached 1,53,21,089 with 20,31,977 active cases and 1,80,530 deaths. The total recoveries, meanwhile, stands at 1,31,08,582.
(With inputs from PTI, Times of India)
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