As COVID-19 tally crosses 25 lakh, PM assures 3 vaccines being tested in India, distribution roadmap ready

Even as India’s COVID-19 count crossed the 25 lakh mark with an increase of 65,000 new cases in the last 24 hours, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address to the nation assured the country that scientists are working on three vaccine trials in India and the roadmap for vaccine  distribution is also fully ready.

Assuring that the government has a plan ready to ensure that the vaccine reaches to each and every Indian, PM Modi said, “Three vaccines are in different stages of testing. When scientists give the go-ahead, we are ready with a plan for production. How the vaccine will reach every Indian in the least amount of time – we have a roadmap ready for that.”

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While Russian President Vladimir Putin has already announced the launch of COVID-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ and Russian authorities have confirmed that mass production of the vaccine will begin from September, India has been taking part in the global COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing race.

Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech, an unlisted vaccine maker, has already received regulatory approval to start human clinical trials from the Indian Council of Medical Research. Zydus Cadila and Serum Institute of India too are also in advanced stages of vaccine testing.

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“As soon as scientists give a green signal, the country will begin their large-scale production of the coronavirus vaccine,” PM Narendra Modi said, adding, “We will announce the roadmap for its distribution as soon as it gets final clearances.”

Recently, global vaccine alliance GAVI announced collaboration with Pune-based Serum Institute of India and Gates Foundation to accelerate manufacturing and delivery of up to 100 million doses of future COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries in 2021. The vaccine, to be called Covishield, will cost Rs 225 per dose in India. 

Zydus Cadila meanwhile is working overtime to put together their own capacity to make 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. They are hopeful of being able to roll out the vaccine by the end of the first quarter of next year.

While the wait for vaccine continues, the silver lining is India’s COVID-19 recovery rate now has climbed up to 71.61 per cent.

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