On Friday, Serum Institute of India (SII) chairman Dr Cyrus Poonawalla Praised Narendra Modi and their Government for taking Licence Raj and Red Tapism under its rule. He also recalled the hardships the vaccine industry and experts faced during the pandemic and getting the vaccine approved. He called it ‘harassment from bureaucrats’.
Cyrus Poonawalla had to Please Bureaucrats
Cyrus Poonawalla, SII Chairman Dr Cyrus Poonawalla was speaking at the event where he received the Lokmanyat Tilak National Award instituted by the Lokmanya Tilak Trust. On Friday, he said that earlier in the pandemic phase, he had to please and fall at the foot of bureaucrats and drug controllers in order to get permissions. But now he added that the situation has changed now, which resulted in quick launch of SII’s COVID-19 vaccine, ‘Covishield’.
He stated that, “Serum Institute was founded in 1966 the morning after my marriage with Villoo, my dear late wife, to whom I dedicate this award. Fifty years ago, the industry had to face hardships in getting basic facilities like power, water, in getting permissions from bureaucrats. It had to face harassment from bureaucrats…I was not supposed to say this.”
Further adding he said that transport and communication were also great problems and challenges that were faced by his staff and fellow directors. He described his journey as a long journey and a very painful one. But now it has become very rewarding.
Dr Cyrus thanks Modi Government
He said that he had to fall at the feet of bureaucrats and drug controllers, etc, to get permissions. But to lessen that stress and difficulties, red tape are much reduced now under the Modi government. Licence raj has also come down, which has resulted in quick launch of the coronavirus vaccine.
Dr Cyrus Gets Praised For His Endless Support and Efforts
Deepak Tilak, president of the Lokmanya Tilak Trust, said that, “In unstable and challenging conditions, SII took immense efforts to develop an indigenous vaccine, which mitigated panic associated with COVID-19. This is the result of the effort and solid support of Dr Cyrus Poonawalla to his team.”
Former Union minister and senior Congress leader Sushil Kumar Shinde also lauded Poonawalla for his work and said that with the SII vaccine was saving lakhs of lives.
SII’s Adar Poonawalla aiming to launch Covovax in India by October
On August 6th, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla said that the Covovax COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be launched for adults in October. The coronavirus vaccine may be available for children by the first quarter of 2022. Poonawala also thanked the government for support.
Poonawalla after a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, said in a statement that, “The government is helping us and we are facing no financial crunch. We are thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for all the cooperation and support.”
Poonawalla’s Firm Started Manufacturing Covovax In Pune
In July, the US-based biotechnology firm Novavax’s Indian partner SII started the production of the first batch of Covovax at its Pune facility. As per the firm’s agreement, Adar Poonawalla’s firm is responsible for manufacturing and commercialising Covovax in India.
Earlier in the day, Poonawalla met Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. Informing about the meet, the minister tweeted, “I appreciated their role in mitigating #COVID19 & assured continued Government support in ramping up vaccine production.”
Check the tweet here:
— Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) August 6, 2021
Novovax asks for DCGI’s approval for emergency use of Covovax
On August 5, Thursday, Novovax applied to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) seeking the emergency use approval of its COVID-19 vaccine Covovax. Besides the DCGI, the biotechnology major also sent submitted applications with regulatory authorities in the Philippines and Indonesia.
What is the Components of Covovax?
Covovax is a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is engineered from the genetic sequence of the first strain of novel coronavirus. As per the phase 3 trials conducted in the United Kingdom, the vaccine’s overall efficacy is 89.7% and 86.3% efficacy against the Alpha variant. The two doses of Covovax must be taken 21 days apart.