The Centre’s new policy allowing all adults to get inoculated for Covid-19 and extending financial aid to the drug-making industry in this context will help vaccine production and distribution in the country, Serum Institute’s Adar Poonawalla has said. Welcoming this change in apparoach, the CEO of one of India’s largest vaccine makers today applauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of the entire industry.
Vaccinations were yesterday opened up by the central government for all above 18 from May 1 after PM Modi held a series of meetings over India’s response to record daily surges in Covid cases.
The Centre has also given 100 per cent advance to two of India’s Covid vaccine manufacturers till July, senior sources in the Finance Ministry told NDTV on Monday night.
The advance, calculated as Rs3,000 crore for the Serum Institute (which produces Covishield) and Rs 1,500 crore for Bharat Biotech (which produces Covaxin) will ensure that the two companies get necessary funding to continue and scale up production, the sources said.
The advances come amid concerns that Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech lack the funds to scale up production, purchase raw materials, pay staff, and make and distribute enough doses of the vaccines.
Mr Poonawalla today tweeted in appreciation of these new measures.
On behalf of the vaccine industry in India, I would like to thank and applaud Shri @narendramodi Ji, @nsitharaman Ji, for your decisive policy changes and swift financial aid which will help vaccine production and distribution in India. https://t.co/NedjaFLsx9
— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) April 20, 2021
States can now also buy doses directly from vaccine-makers in the “liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of Covid-19 vaccination”. The Centre’s decision came a day after the country reported 2.73 lakh new daily cases in the highest spike since the pandemic broke out in India over a year ago.