COVID PM … PM Modi on visit of three pharma firms to ascertain Covid vaccine preparedness for nation


MUMBAI: India’s quest for a vaccine to rein in the Chinese-spread Covid-19 vaccine reaches a decisive stage, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi airdashing to three major pharma facilities on Saturday for a first-hand assessment of the readiness of these entities to start supply of the vaccine to people across the country in stages from start of 2021.

The PM’s first stop-over was in Ahmedabad, where pharma major Zydus Cadila is ready with a vaccine. He was scheduled to spend an hour at the plant at Changodar, some 25km from Ahmedabad. Its vaccine is named ZyCoV-D.

The PM’s next landing will be in Pune, where the Serum Institute of India is ready with a vaccine. It has partnered with AstraZeneca and Oxford University to produce the vaccine. The third stop-over for the PM is Hyderabad, where Bharat BioTech is ready with a vaccine, Covaxin, billed as India’s first indigenous vaccine candidate. The PM would head for Hyderabad from Pune after lunch.


India, which started taking Covid-19 spread seriously since late March, has by now 9.3 milion registered Covid-19 cases, most of which have recovered, but left a trail of death of the order of 1,36,500 in the past eight months. Some 87,59,000 affected people have recovered, while the dead included a Union minister, and former President Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, and a couple of state ministers as also some top names in the entertainment industry. IHN-NN


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