India’s largest vaccine manufacturer – Serum Institute of India’s CEO, Adar Poonawalla has been granted ‘Y’ Category Security Cover by the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), the Union Home Ministry of Home Affairs announced on 28th April, 2021. The ‘Y’ Category Security Cover comprises 11 personnel – including a couple of Commandoes as well as police personnel. The security cover is provided to the protectee at all places across the country.
The Centre’s decision came after Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Pune-based Serum Institute, Prakash Kumar Singh wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on April 16, 2021, requesting security for Poonawalla. In this letter, Singh had stated that Adar Poonawalla had been receiving threats from various groups regarding COVID-19 vaccine supplies.
In this letter, Singh also said, “We are working shoulder to shoulder to fight against COVID-19 pandemic with the Government of India under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji.”
Covishield, one of the two COVID-19 vaccines used in India’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, is being manufactured by SII. Separately, the SII-Pune has announced a cut in price of Covishield it plans to sell to states to ₹300 per dose from the earlier ₹400. Poonawalla announced about this new update on Twitter. He wrote, “As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of @SerumInstIndia, I hereby reduce the price to the states from ₹400 to ₹300 per dose, effective immediately; this will save thousands of crores of state funds going forward. This will enable more vaccinations and save countless lives”.