90 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India so far: Vardhan

New Delhi: Union minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday said 90 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered in the country so far. 

He also said India is supplying COVID-19 vaccines to 23 countries and 40 nations in all have requested for vaccines.

Vardhan was virtually addressing scientists of CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow on the occasion of its 70th Annual Day. 

“As of today, 90 lakh doses of vaccines have been administered in India, and we are supplying vaccines to 23 countries and 40 countries in all have requested the vaccines,” Vardhan said. 

India has approved two vaccines – Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and Covishield from Oxford/AstraZeneca stable being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India – for emergency use in the country.

Congratulating the scientists of the institute, Vardhan highlighted that CSIR-CDRI participated in the fight against COVID-19 through its multi-pronged approach. 

“The institute established COVID testing laboratory within a record time of two months and took complete charge of testing from two districts of Uttar Pradesh. The scientists also started testing the repurposed drug Umifenovir and received approval from DCG(I) for conducting clinical trials on the molecule,” he said.

“Making the best use of its infrastructure and expertise, the institute also carried out genome sequencing studies and sequenced 200 samples from Uttar Pradesh,” the minister pointed out.

Vardhan inaugurated ‘Atal National Colloquium on Healthcare and Innovation’, a series of lectures from highly eminent persons. 

He also inaugurated ‘Common Research and Technology Development Hub (CRTDH)’, supported jointly by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research online. 

The objectives of the CRTDH are to set up and operate a Pharmaceutical Formulation Development and National Clinical Trial Batch Production Facility. 

This will be helpful for clinical trial centres, pharma industry, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and academia for advanced research.