Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Tuesday lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman for what he called a ‘decisive policy changes’ and ‘swift financial aid’ to help Covid-19 vaccine production and distribution in India. The Pune-based SII is manufacturing the vaccine developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca as Covishield.
Poonawalla’s tweet followed hours after the Union finance ministry approved Rs 4,567 crore for SII and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, which produces indigenously developed Covaxin, on Monday to boost the capacity of Covid-19 vaccine production in India as the country faces a second wave of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Both the vaccines have been instrumental in India’s vaccination drive and also were the first two vaccines approved by the government for the vaccination drive which began in January.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday chaired a meeting where it was decided to allow vaccination to everyone above the age of 18 from May 1. Modi said the Centre has been working hard from over a year to ensure that maximum numbers of people are able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible of time.
“India is vaccinating people at world record pace and we will continue this with even greater momentum,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during the meeting where the decision to vaccinate all adults in the country was taken.