New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will Saturday visit the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune to review the production of the covid-19 vaccine. SII's Serum Bio-Pharma Park in Pune is developing Oxford University's coronavirus vaccine in India. The firm has been given the contract of producing one billion doses for India and other developing countries.

Apart from the SII, the prime minister will also visit Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad and Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad - the two other sites where the vaccines for the deadly coronavirus is being developed.

"Tomorrow PM Modi will embark on a 3 city visit to personally review the vaccine development & manufacturing process. He will visit the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad & Serum Institute of India in Pune," Prime Minister's Office wrote on Twitter.

Earlier this month, the Oxford University-Astra Zenenca Covid-19 vaccine had proved 70 per cent effective, according to a large scale trial. The results were disappointing because coronavirus vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna showed 95 per cent protection against the virus.

However, the Oxford vaccine is cheaper and can be stored at fridge temperature, which makes it easier to distribute to every corner of the world. Also, the protection from the virus can be increased up to 90 per cent by perfecting the dose.

The firm - Astra Zeneca has also admitted a manufacturing error after a relatively lower per centage of effectiveness. However, the SII said that the vaccine candidate was safe and effective and that the Indian trials were progressing smoothly with strict adherence to all protocols.

The prime minister's visit has come as a reassurance to people amid rising questions over the vaccine's efficacy. Earlier this week, PM Modi laid out a vaccine distribution plan before states during his Covid-19 review meeting. As per the plan, health care workers will be the first to receive the vaccine, followed by police personnel.

"..in the first stage the vaccine will be given to the frontline health workers, in the second stage to the police personnel, sanitation worker etc, to those above 50 yrs of age in third stage and to those with comorbid conditions in the fourth stage," Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, who attended the meeting had said.

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma