Government officials welcome PM Narendra Modi at the Lohegaon airport on Saturday. Modi landed at SII’s Hadapsar campus at 4:45 pm via a special helicopter.(HT PHOTO)
Government officials welcome PM Narendra Modi at the Lohegaon airport on Saturday. Modi landed at SII’s Hadapsar campus at 4:45 pm via a special helicopter.(HT PHOTO)

At Serum, Modi discusses vaccine production, ramping up capacity

Modi landed at SII’s Hadapsar campus at 4:45 pm via a special helicopter from Pune’s Lohegaon airport
By Yogesh Joshi | Hindustan Times, Pune
PUBLISHED ON NOV 29, 2020 05:23 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Serum Institute of India (SII) on Saturday reviewed various aspects related to the Covishield vaccine being produced at the Pune-based firm.

After his visit, PM Modi tweeted, “Had a good interaction with the team at Serum Institute of India. They shared details about their progress so far on how they plan to further ramp up vaccine manufacturing. Also, took a look at their manufacturing facility.”

Modi landed at SII’s Hadapsar campus at 4:45 pm via a special helicopter from Pune’s Lohegaon airport where he arrived from Hyderabad. At SII, Modi inspected various facilities and interacted with Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer, SII, along with his father Cyrus and other officials.

Modi spent an hour at SII interacting with the officials inside a conference room. His Pune visit was a part of a three-city tour to review the status of vaccine development in India. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister arrived at Ahmedabad’s Zydus Biotech Park after which he visited Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad before arriving at Serum.

“PM Narendra Modi is extremely knowledgeable on vaccines and vaccine production. We were amazed at what he already knew. There was very little to explain to him, except for going into detail on different variable vaccines and the challenges that we may face ahead in terms of regulators,” said Poonawalla.

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 University of Oxford and AstraZeneca on Monday said that their coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective in late-stage clinical trials, raising hopes for arrival of shots in India by the end of the year.

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray speaks as he attends a meeting through video conferencing in Mumbai. (ANI Photo)

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Smoke billowing out of the SII facility which caught fire, in Pune on Thursday. (ANI)
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Smoke comes out of a building of Serum Institute after fire broke out in its Manjri premise in Pune. (Shankar Narayan/HT photo)
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