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Serum Institute joins hands with CII to accelerate vaccination in rural areas

Speaking on Friday’s development, SII’s chief executive officer (CEO) Adar Poonawalla said the partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry “will be a good way to close the gaps” as there is plenty of supply of Covishield doses available for distribution.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Harshit Sabarwal | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 30, 2021 06:00 PM IST
SII, which is the largest vaccine manufacturer across the globe, has been producing the United Kingdom (UK)-based AstraZeneca vaccine under the brand name of ‘Covishield’ in India.(AFP file photo)

Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) said on Friday that it has entered into a partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to accelerate the vaccination drive against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in rural areas and small towns of the country.

SII, which is the largest vaccine manufacturer across the globe, has been producing the United Kingdom (UK)-based AstraZeneca vaccine under the brand name of ‘Covishield’ in India. Since the beginning of the vaccination drive in India in mid-January this year, most of the eligible beneficiaries have been inoculated with either Covishield or Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

Speaking on Friday’s development, SII’s chief executive officer (CEO) Adar Poonawalla said the partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry “will be a good way to close the gaps” as there is plenty of supply of Covishield doses available for distribution, adding it is essential that all stakeholders work together towards carrying out vaccinations.

Also Read| Can Covishield and Covaxin be mixed? What we know about this

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On the other hand, T V Narendran, president of the CII, said the industrial body aims to connect the community, hospitals and corporates to fast-track vaccination and the partnership with the Serum Institute will help in catalysing industry participation to reach out to communities at large.

“Overall, the industry has been playing a responsible part in ensuring vaccination of workers and their families, but clearly given the scale and urgency of the vaccination program, we can complement and supplement the efforts of the government in this pivotal mission for the nation,” Narendran said in a statement.

Also Read| Covishield vaccine reduced new Covid-19 cases by 93%, deaths by 98%: Centre

The CII, as a part of the pan-India vaccine demand aggregation exercise, had undertaken a survey with responses from more than 3,000 companies across 196 cities, PTI reported. The survey revealed that there is a requirement of more than seven million single Covid-19 vaccine doses. “As of July 23, 2021, a total of 3,475,301 single doses have been administered through 430 camps held across the country by the CII and the CII Foundation,” the CII statement added.

The industrial body also said it is mapping the vaccination requirement state-wise and is setting up inoculation camps focusing on reaching rural areas and tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

(With PTI inputs)

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