A day after questioning the government on its Covid-19 vaccine production and distribution plans in the country, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla on Sunday said it was clear that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “arrangements for India will take care of all needs for the Indian people”.
Poonawalla also lauded PM Modi’s vision on providing vaccines to the global community at the United Nations General Assembly.
“We share and applaud your vision @narendramodi ji, on providing vaccines to the global community. It is a proud moment for India, thank you for your leadership and support. It is clear that all your arrangements for India will take care of all needs for the Indian people,” Poonawalla tweeted.
We share and applaud your vision @narendramodi ji, on providing vaccines to the global community. It is a proud moment for India, thank you for your leadership and support. It is clear that all your arrangements for India will take care of all needs for the Indian people. https://t.co/b57TH8fDSB
— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) September 27, 2020
In his address to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly on Saturday, PM Modi said India, being the largest vaccine producing country of the world, would help all humanity in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, earning praise from World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“As the largest vaccine producing country of the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today. India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis. Even during these very difficult times of the raging pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry of India has sent essential medicines to more than 150 countries,” PM Modi said.
Modi further assured that India would also help all the countries in enhancing their cold chain and storage capacities for the delivery of the vaccines.
“Thank you for your commitment to solidarity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Only together, by mobilising our forces and resources jointly for the common good, can we end the Covid-19 pandemic,” WHO Director-General Ghebreyesus said in a tweet.
Thank you for your commitment to solidarity, 🇮🇳 Prime Minister @narendramodi. Only together, by mobilizing our forces and resources jointly for the common good, can we end the #COVID19 pandemic. #UNGA @PMOIndia @CDMissionIndia @IndiaUNNewYorkhttps://t.co/UgHjNgmKlM
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) September 26, 2020
Interestingly, before PM Modi’s assurance on Covid-19 vaccine in his UNGA speech, Poonawalla had asked if the government had Rs 80,000 crore available over the next one year to buy and distribute the shots.
“Quick question; will the government of India have 80,000 crores available, over the next one year? Because that’s what @MoHFW_INDIA needs, to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India,” he had tweeted.
“I ask this question, because we need to plan and guide, vaccine manufacturers both in India and overseas to service the needs of our country in terms of procurement and distribution,” he added.
Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has the licence to produce and market two of the leading vaccine candidates, one developed by AstraZeneca and the Oxford University, and the other one by US company Novavax.
The Oxford University vaccine, named Covishield in India, is currently undergoing phase-II and phase-III trials in the country. Earlier, the institute had announced that it will make the Oxford vaccine available at $3 for low-and-middle-income countries including India.
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