PM Modi to visit 3 drug development centres today to review Covid-19 vaccine progress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit drug makers in three cities on Saturday to personally review the Covid-19 vaccine development and manufacturing process. He will visit Ahmedabad’s Zydus Biotech Park, Hyderabad’s Bharat Biotech and Pune’s Serum Institute of India (SII).

“As India enters a decisive phase of the fight against Covid-19, PM @narendramodis visit to these facilities & discussions with the scientists will help him get a first hand perspective of the preparations, challenges & roadmap in India’s endeavour to vaccinate its citizens,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted on Saturday.

According to reports, the PM will first visit pharma major Zydus Cadila’s plant around 9.30am. Zydus Cadila had announced that the phase-I clinical trial of its vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D was over and it has commenced phase-II clinical trials from August.

From Ahmedabad, he will fly to Hyderabad to visit vaccine maker Bharat Biotech’s facility where he is expected to spend an hour. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is undergoing phase-3 trials.

The PM will arrive at Pune’s Serum Institute of India (SII), his last destination for the day, around 4.30pm. He will review the status of the vaccine candidate that is being manufactured by the Jenner Institute of Oxford University in collaboration with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca.

Both University of Oxford and AstraZeneca on Monday said that their vaccine was up to 90% effective in late-stage clinical trials, raising hopes for its arrival in India by the end of the year.

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