Day After 'Rs 80,000 Cr' Question for Govt, SII’s Adar Poonawalla Praises Modi’s Vaccine Assurance at UN

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A day after highlighting the challenges in India’s plan of Covid-19 vaccine production and distribution, Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer of the vaccine's local manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII), took to Twitter to praise Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on vaccines.

Modi, in his address at the UN General Assembly on Saturday, assured the world that India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help humanity in the COVID-19 crisis, his remarks were met with concern by Poonawalla who asked if the Centre had Rs 80,000 crore available with it over next one year to distribute vaccine to Indians.

On Sunday, however, the CEO of world's largest vaccine maker thanked the Prime Minister and said that it was clear that his "arrangements for India will take care of all needs for the Indian people."

“We share and applaud your vision @narendramodi ji, on providing vaccines to the global community. It is a proud moment for India, thank you for your leadership and support. It is clear that all your arrangements for India will take care of all needs for the Indian people,” Poonawalla tweeted.

On Saturday, after Modi’s virtual address at the UNGA where he said India can help in bringing the world out of the coronavirus crisis with mass vaccine distribution once all trials are completed successfully, Poonawalla asked, "Quick question; will the government of India have 80,000 crores available, over the next year?" Poonawalla asked in a tweet. "Because that's what @MoHFW_INDIA needs, to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India. This is the next concerning the challenge we need to tackle. @PMOIndia."

The Oxford University has reported satisfactoryprogress from the vaccines test results and is conducting bigger field tests in the UK. In India, it has chosen SII as the manufacturing partner, which has to conduct field trials before getting thefinal nod to ensure they are safe and effective for Indians.

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