COVID-19 vaccine: Government panel meets representatives of leading domestic manufacturers

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The national expert group on vaccine administration for COVID-19 met representatives of leading domestic manufactures, including Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila, on August 17 to take inputs about the present stage of various candidate vaccines as well as their expectations from the government, the Union Health Ministry said. The meeting was mutually beneficial and productive, the ministry said.

“It provided the national expert group with inputs about the present stage of various candidate vaccines being developed by indigenous manufacturers as well as their expectations from the Union government,” the statement said.

The meeting was chaired by Niti Aayog member V K Paul and co-chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

The panel met separately representatives of the five firms — Serum Institute of India (Pune), Bharat Biotech (Hyderabad), Zydus Cadila (Ahmedabad), Gennova Biopharmaceuticals (Pune) and Biological E (Hyderabad).

According to sources, the panel comprising Department of Biotechnology Secretary Renu Swarup, ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava and Department of Pharmaceuticals Secretary P D Vaghela met the representatives of the five pharma firms and asked them about their production capacity and whether they need any sort of assistance from the government.

This was the second meeting of the committee after August 12.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemichere.

In the first meeting, it delved into the procurement mechanism for COVID-19 vaccine, including both indigenous and international manufacturing along with guiding principles for prioritisation of population groups for vaccination.

The expert group had then held discussions on financial resources required for pro

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