Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with vaccine manufacturers from across the country via video conferencing on Tuesday wherein he applauded them for their achievements and professionalism. He said the biggest strengths of our vaccine industry are its ‘Samarthya, Sansadhan and Seva Bhaav’, and these are what makes them a vaccine leader in the world.
Stating that the government has now allowed the vaccination programme for every adult starting May 1, Modi urged the vaccine manufacturers to continuously scale up the production capacity to inoculate citizens in the shortest possible time. He also appreciated the efforts and studies being conducted by scientists in development of new vaccines.
He also credited them for developing and manufacturing vaccines in record time and at cheapest rates, adding the world’s largest vaccine programme is underway in India.
He said that 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. The government has ensured that all the vaccine manufacturers not only get all possible help and logistic support, but also the process of vaccine approval is speedy and scientific, Modi said. He also assured them of all possible support and smooth approval process for vaccine candidates that are currently under trial phase.
Further, he said the health infrastructure in the private sector has played a big role in the country’s fight against Covid-19 and in the coming days, it will play an even more active role in the vaccination drive. This will require better coordination between hospitals and industry.
The vaccine manufacturers thanked the Prime Minister for the government’s decision of allowing vaccination for everyone above the age of 18 and various steps taken to give more incentives and flexibility. They also appreciated the prime minister’s leadership for the support they have received from the Government of India throughout the process of vaccine development and production. They also discussed their plans to ramp up production, upcoming vaccine candidates and research on the new variants.
On Monday, the PM had held a meeting with doctors and pharma companies wherein the decision to open the vaccination process through the private sector for everyone above the age of 18 years from May 1 was taken.
The government is currently seeking only 50 percent stocks for itself for vaccines manufactured in India against 100 percent earlier. Moreover, it has not sought any share in vaccines imported from abroad. The appeal to vaccine manufacturers in India and abroad may, hence, be to make the most of this chance to help India tide over the crisis of the second coronavirus wave.
So far, the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) has approved two vaccines- Serum Institute of India’s Covidshield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The drug regulator has also given its nod to emergency use of Russian vaccine Sputnik V which will marketed by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in the country.
Representatives from all three facilities from India as well as abroad attended the meeting. The government has already provided financial aid to the indigenous vaccine makers and more units have been roped to boost production of the homegrown COVID vaccines.