India all set to mass-produce COVID-19 vaccines: PM Modi

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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COVID-19 Vaccine
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India is ready to mass-produce COVID-19 vaccines once scientists deliver the go-ahead, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi today in his speech on Independence Day.

On the occasion of the 74th Independence Day of the world’s largest democracy, he also unveiled a national initiative to roll out health identities for every citizen.

Modi has listed health and economic self-reliance as the key priorities for his government in the annual celebrations that were scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Modi Image“Along with mass-production, the road map for distribution of vaccines to every single Indian in the least possible time is also ready.”

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, India.

In India, three vaccine candidates are in various stages of human clinical trials.

Phase 1 and 2 of two human clinical trials, developed indigenously by Bharat Biotech in partnership with the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR), and Zydus Cadila Ltd, are currently underway.

The Serum Institute of India has been approved to perform Phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials for the third vaccine candidate which is developed by Oxford University. To produce the vaccine, the Pune-based institute collaborated with the Swedish-Britain pharmaceutical, AstraZeneca.

In his seventh Independence Day speech, Modi launched a National Digital Health Mission for the country’s 1.3 billion population, saying that records of every health test, illness, medication and other information will be kept under a health ID.

“Technology will be judiciously used to reduce challenges in treatments. Whether it is making a doctor’s appointment, depositing money or running around for documents in the hospital, the mission will help remove all such challenges,” said the Indian Prime Minister.

Modi also said it was important to increase the economic power of India to increase its international influence, emphasizing the need to cut imports and increase value-added products exports.

The prime minister asserted plans to improve India’s infrastructure by investing more than $1.47 trillion on around 7000 projects, stating that it will help revive economic growth by creating jobs and boosting small businesses.