Covid-19 vaccination milestone: Entire world looking up to India after our success, says PM Modi

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October 24, 2021 4:45 AM

He said the entire world is looking up to India against the backdrop of the success of the vaccination drive, adding that the vaccine manufacturers should continuously work together to be ready to face future challenges.

The PM exhorted that the country needs to institutionalise the best practices learnt during the last one and a half years. PM Modi interacted with the domestic vaccine manufacturers at Lok Kalyan Marg.The PM exhorted that the country needs to institutionalise the best practices learnt during the last one and a half years. PM Modi interacted with the domestic vaccine manufacturers at Lok Kalyan Marg.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday praised efforts of Indian vaccine manufacturers, which, he said, resulted in the country crossing the milestone of 100 crore vaccinations. He acknowledged the big role played by the vaccine makers in India’s success story.

He said the entire world is looking up to India against the backdrop of the success of the vaccination drive, adding that the vaccine manufacturers should continuously work together to be ready to face future challenges.

The PM exhorted that the country needs to institutionalise the best practices learnt during the last one and a half years. PM Modi interacted with the domestic vaccine manufacturers at Lok Kalyan Marg.

Modi met representatives of Serum Institute of India (SII), Bharat Biotech, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, ZydusCadila, Biological E, Gennova Biopharma and Panacea Biotech and discussed the future course of action with vaccine makers to make India a superpower in vaccines. The country administered 102.08 crore vaccines as on Saturday and had crossed the 100 crore job on Thursday with 71% of the adult population getting their first shots and 31% fully vaccinated with two shots.
Industry and government worked together to achieve this milestone, the vaccine makers said after meeting the PM.

Adar Poonawalla, CEO, SII, said they had excellent interactions with the Prime Minister and they discussed with him on how to take the industry forward to prepare for future pandemics, continue enhancing capacity and on making India a vaccine superpower. “All over the world now countries are going to invest in vaccine production and India needs to stay ahead and we discussed how to do that together with industry and the government,” Poonawalla said.

Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of SII, said the PM was happy that we were able to deliver the Covid-19 vaccines as promised. Poonawalla had assured the PM during his visit to the SII plant in Pune in November last year about supplying enough vaccines to make India self-sufficient in Covid-19 vaccine and also doing this at the lowest possible price in the world. He credited the PM for driving the health ministry and going out of his way to get the regulatory authorities to move fast, saying it was because of this that India could make a billion doses. Poonawalla has supplied close to 89.93 crore doses and accounts for close to 90% of the vaccines administered in the country.

Pankaj Patel, chairman, Cadila Healthcare, which pioneered the world’s first DNA Covid-19 vaccine ZyCov-D, said the PM was a big factor in development of the vaccine. “Right from the start, he encouraged our team and scientists to develop the DNA vaccine and offered all kind of support from the Government of India while developing the vaccine,” Patel said. The PM even highlighted this DNA vaccine during his talk at the UN, he pointed out. “This will open a new chapter of innovation in the country and India will emerge among innovative nation in in vaccines,” he added.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Union minister of state for health Bharati Pawar and Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan also attended the meeting held at the PMO.

SII’s Covishield, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Russian Sputnik vaccine have been part of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme. ZyCov-D has received approval from the regulatory authorities and is on its way to join the national vaccination programme.

Bharat Biotech’s chairman and managing director Krishna Ella said reaching 100 crore vaccine doses was not easy but the Prime Minister was determined to achieve it. All the negativity in the beginning, the PM converted into an opportunity, Ella said. “This is a success for aatmanirbhar Bharat and a role model for startups in the country,” he added.

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