New Delhi: In the backdrop of the country achieving the milestone of administering 100 crore doses, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held a meeting with the seven Indian Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers. It is learnt that while lauding the efforts of the vaccine manufacturers, he urged the companies to speed up the production of more doses in order to cover more population by December end. The PM also talked about increasing innovation in the pharmaceutical sector to make India a drug and vaccine manufacturing hub.
Representatives from seven vaccine makers —Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Zydus Cadila, Biological E, Gennova Biopharma and Panacea Biotech — attended the meeting with PM Modi. Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Union minister of state for health Bharati Pravin Pawar were also present in the meeting.
On Thursday, India crossed a major milestone in the global vaccination programme against Covid-19 as its cumulative vaccine doses administered crossed 100 crore doses. India’s cumulative Covid-19 vaccination coverage on Saturday exceeded 101.30 crore. In the last 24 hours more than 68 lakh doses were administered. Prime Minister Modi received congratulatory messages from several global leaders on this national feat.
“The vaccine industry and I, thank you Shri @narendramodi Ji, for an excellent interaction. We feel energised and encouraged by the vision you have laid out for the industry,” Serum Institute of India CEO Mr Adar Poonawalla tweeted after the meeting.
“Thanks to PMO for the invitation , thought provoking interaction and insights to make Indian Bio-Pharma companies prepare ahead for leadership in global innovation and manufacturing,” tweeted Bharat Biotech co-founder Suchitra Ella.
“Delighted to meet the Honorable PM @narendramodi to celebrate #100CroreVaccinations and taking Brand India to the world through India-made vaccines. Making #Vaccines a foundational pillar of a #NewIndia,” tweeted Dr Rajesh and Harshet Jain of Panacea Biotech.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan reviewed the progress of Covid-19 vaccination with the health secretaries and mission directors of National health mission (NHM) of the states and UTs. The focus of the meeting was to urge the states and UTs to increase the pace of the countrywide vaccination and coverage of the second dose. Highlighting the sizable number of eligible beneficiaries who have not received their 2nd dose of vaccine, the Union health secretary urged the states and UTs to focus on those beneficiaries who are waiting for their second dose after their interval period has been over.
States/UTs were also urged to improve the momentum of vaccination and accelerate the coverage as the country moves forward to vaccinate all the eligible population by end of the year under the nation-wide Covid-19 vaccination drive. So far 71.24 crore first doses covering 76% of the eligible population and 30.06 crore second doses covering 32% of the eligible population have been administered the Covid-19 vaccines. States and UTs were also advised to identify and prioritise districts having low coverage for focused action....