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Let more companies produce Covaxin: Ghulam Nabi Azad to PM Modi

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Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad — who is the chairman of the Congress task force on Covid-19 — on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting that the 20-plus tested and qualified pharmaceutical companies be roped in to increase vaccine production.

“While it is understood that the Covishield vaccine is being produced by SII under patent licensing arrangement with Astra Zeneca , and that Dr Reddy’s Lab has lately been licenced to manufacture the Sputnik vaccine, we can surely augment the production of domestically developed Covaxin. I believe Department of Biotechnology and ICMR have supported the development of the vaccine now being produced by Bharat Biotech. It may be worthwhile to have them share the technology with, if not all, the remaining WHO pre-qualified pharmaceutical companies. This will immediately increase the production of Covaxin manifold,” Azad suggested to the PM.

Former Union health minister Azad suggested ‘re-hiring of recently retired nursing and para-medical staff’ to augument the health services.’ “Along with nursing graduates, it may be worthwhile to consider re-hiring the recently retired nursing and paramedical staff for 6 months to one year on payment of the last drawn pay minus pension. They could be given some additional honorarium to undertake this in a mission mode in the aspirational districts or other targeted areas…,” he proposed.

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