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Home Ministry issues Y category security for Adar Poonawalla

Poonawalla, 40, is one of the key players in the country's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 28, 2021 / 08:07 PM IST
Serum Institute India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla (Image: Twitter/@adarpoonawalla)

Serum Institute India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla (Image: Twitter/@adarpoonawalla)

Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive officer of India's largest vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII), was issued Y category security by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on April 28.

As part of the security cover, Poonawalla would be protected by personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Under Y category security, a person is protected by 11 security personnel, including one or two commandos. The security cover is provided to the protectee at all places across the country.

Poonawalla, 40, is one of the key players in the country's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Covishield vaccine developed by the Pune-headquartered SII is one of the two anti-COVID jabs being currently administered to the beneficiaries in India.

Also Read: Covishield prices for states reduced to Rs 300 a dose, says Serum's Adar Poonawalla

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Amidst a raging second wave of the virus in India, Poonawalla has assured to ramp up the production of Covishield in the days to come. The SII would be producing up to 10 crore doses per month by July, he told The Indian Express on April 22.

The SII CEO, as a "philanthrophic gesture", also agreed to bring down the prices of vaccine doses being offered to the state governments.

"As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of @SerumInstIndia, I hereby reduce the price to the states from Rs.400 to Rs.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 (sic)," he tweeted on April 28.

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