NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired a high-level meeting to review the planning and preparations for COVID-19 vaccine, said an official statement issued by the PM office.
Strenuous efforts are underway to develop a vaccine named "COVAXIN", in close coordination and supervision of the Delhi-based Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV) located in southwestern city of Pune.
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech is learnt to have got the approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to start with human clinical trials of the vaccine.
Bharat Biotech's Chairman and Managing Director Dr Krishna Ella said "We are proud to announce COVAXIN, India's first indigenous vaccine against COVID-19. The collaboration with ICMR and NIV was instrumental in the development of this vaccine."
Modi noted that vaccination of India's vast and diverse population will need to factor in issues, including those related to management of medical supply chains, prioritization of at-risk populations, coordination between different agencies involved in the process, as well as the role of private sector and civil society in this national endeavour.
He laid stress on making available the vaccine, once ready, to everyone and everywhere and that no one should be left behind. The entire process from production to vaccination should be monitored and supported in real time with the use of technology, Modi said.