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PM Modi to meet COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers at 6 pm today as govt allows jabs for all above 18 years

This would be his third interaction with focus groups, after doctors and pharma companies on Monday, April 19. During the meeting with vaccine makers, PM Modi will likely take some key decisions around ramping up the production of vaccine doses.

PM Modi to meet COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers at 6 pm today as govt allows jabs for all above 18 years-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Apr 20, 2021, 10:35 AM IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual meeting with manufacturers of the vaccine against Covid-19 on Tuesday, in his third such interaction with focus groups amid a marked surge in coronavirus disease cases across India.

This would be his third interaction with focus groups, after doctors and pharma companies on Monday, April 19. During the meeting with vaccine makers, PM Modi will likely take some key decisions around ramping up the production of vaccine doses.

So far, two vaccines -- Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine COVISHIELD manufactured by Serum Institute in India and indigenously developed COVAXIN by Bharat Biotech -- are being administered in India, while a third vaccine Sputnik V -- developed in Russia and to be imported and sold in India by Dr Reddy's Laboratories -- has also been approved by the Indian drug regulator.

Other vaccines available globally and expected soon in India include those made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

As India opens vaccination to all those above the age of 18, the country will need to speed up production in order to meet the growing demand. The government has roped in both the public and private sectors to rapidly scale up production as well as dissemination of vaccines as part of the phase-3 strategy.

India reported 259,170 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Union health ministry's dashboard at 8.30am on Tuesday, pushing the country's infection tally to 15,321,089. India is dealing with a deadlier, more infectious second wave of the coronavirus pandemic which is exhausting the country's already overburdened health care system to its limits, with reports emerging of hospitals running out of ICU beds and crucial supplies such as oxygen cylinders.

Over 126 million coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered across the country till now, as per the health ministry's provisional report till 8pm on Monday.

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