PM Modi to meet 7 vaccine manufacturers as India crosses 1 billion doses mark
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday meet Indian manufacturers of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine, news agency PTI reported. Representatives from seven vaccine makers - Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Zydus Cadila, Biological E, Gennova Biopharma and Panacea Biotech - will be participating in the meeting, it further said.
The meeting will take place for 4pm today. It comes days after India administered one billion vaccine doses, crossing a major milestone in the fight against Covid-19.
Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Union minister of state for health Bharati Pravin Pawar are expected to be present in the meeting.
The Prime Minister will take stock of their experiences as well as discuss various issues like furthering research with the vaccine makers. He is also expected to emphasise on ways to vaccinate eligible people in India as quickly as possible, PTI reported. In the 1 billion doses, the highest - 75 per cent - have received at least one dose while 31 per cent of the adults have been administered both the doses, according to Union health ministry.
PM Modi addressed the nation on Friday, in which he asked those yet to be vaccinated to make it a priority, and those who have been jabbed to inspire the others to follow suit.
The Prime Minister also cautioned that people still needed to be careful.
“We cannot drop the ball, no matter how modern the shield. Till the war is on, weapons are not laid down. We need to celebrate our festivals with great care and masks have to be on. Just as we wear shoes, we must make wearing a mask a habit,” said the Prime Minister.
Hailing the milestone, he said that the given the numbers of those vaccinated, the world will now consider India safe.
The billionth shot was administered on Thursday, nine months and five days after the country’s Covid-19 immunisation programme kicked off on January 16. Only China has been able to administer more doses.