File photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(PTI)
File photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(PTI)

PM Modi to visit Serum Institute on Saturday to take stock of Covid-19 vaccine production

The Prime Minister will visit various facilities at SII’s Hadapsar campus where the Pune firm has begun the production of Covishield vaccine.
By Abhay Khairnar, Yogesh Joshi | Edited by Sparshita Saxena | Hindustan Times, Pune
UPDATED ON NOV 26, 2020 10:22 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Serum Institute of India in Pune on Saturday to see Covid-19 vaccine production and proposed distribution plan, a senior official confirmed on Thursday.

“We have got an official confirmation about Prime Minister’s visit to Pune on November 28. The PM will visit Serum Institute which is into production of Covid vaccine,” said Pune divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao.

The administration has already held multiple meetings to prepare for PM Modi’s visit to Pune. The Prime Minister, according to officials, will visit various facilities at SII’s Hadapsar campus where the Pune firm has begun the production of Covishield vaccine.

Rao said, the Prime Minister will be at Serum Institute for an hour. “He will arrive at Lohegaon Airport at 12.30 on Saturday. After that, instead of going by road, the Prime Minister will travel by helicopter to the Serum Institute,” said Rao. The PM will also be travelling to Hyderabad the same day.

Also read: Pakistan tries to brush off IOC snub on not discussing Kashmir

Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine maker, has signed an agreement to manufacture the vaccine developed by the Jenner Institute of Oxford University in collaboration with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca. Both, the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, on Monday said that their coronavirus vaccine was up to 90 per cent effective in late-stage clinical trials, raising hopes for the arrival of shots in India by the end of the year.

HT sent an email to SII seeking details about PM’s visit to its campus but did not get any response.

“The PM’s visit would be aimed at reviewing the status of the vaccine candidate for coronavirus infection and to know about its launch, production and distribution mechanisms,” said another official from the district administration.

The PM’s visit precedes the arrival of ambassadors and high commissioners of various countries at Serum Institute of India in Pune on December 4 to oversee the production of the Covid-19 vaccine and the company’s distribution plan, once it gets a nod from the regulators for use.

According to the itinerary released by the Ministry of External Affairs, the “familiarization” visit of foreign ambassadors and high commissioners based in Delhi will be for one day and in two groups.

The ambassadors will visit SII in the morning and spend around three hours visiting facilities at the company’s Hadapsar campus. By afternoon, they will arrive at Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Limited, which is also into production of another a covid vaccine, at its Hinjewadi campus before heading back to Delhi.

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