Pune, 1st May 2021: The third phase of the vaccination campaign in the country started today for the people in the 18-44 years age group. The demand for the vaccine is increasing continuously in the country.
Meanwhile, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Pune-based the Serum Institute of India (SII) which is producing the Covishield vaccine, has spoken about the increasing pressure for the vaccine. In Britain, Poonawalla has also alleged that many powerful people of India including Chief Ministers of states, business tycoons and others are harassing him for the vaccine. Poonawalla was recently provided with Y-category security by the central government.
‘Vaccine calling aggressively’
Talking about this for the first time after getting security, Poonawalla told in an interview with ‘The Times’ that the powerful people of India are aggressively calling and seeking the Covishield vaccine. Covishield is the first vaccine approved by DCGI for the emergency use of Corona.
Poonawalla went to UK with daughter and wife
The head of SII said that due to this pressure, he has come to London with his daughter and wife before the UK government banned flights from India. 40-year-old Poonawalla said, “I have stayed this extra time because I don’t want to go back to that position. Everything has fallen on my shoulder, but I cannot do everything alone. I do not want to be in a situation where you are doing your work, and you cannot meet the supply of demands of X, Y or Z. Don’t even know what they are going to do with you.”
‘Everyone thinks they should get the vaccine’
He said, “The level of expectation and aggression is really unprecedented. It’s overwhelming. Everyone feels they should get the vaccine. They don’t understand why someone else should get them first.”
He also indicated that his London move is also linked to business plans to expand vaccine manufacturing to countries outside India, in which Britain maybe his choice.
When asked about vaccine manufacturing outside India, he said, “There is going to be a big announcement in the next few days.”
The Covishield vaccine has been developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca and Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the vaccine.
What did Poonawalla say on the charge of making more profits on Covishield?
The company started exporting the vaccine to 68 countries, including Britain. However, during this time the situation started to worsen with Corona in India.
Poonawalla said, “We are really gasping for all the help. I don’t think even God could have predicted that it was going to happen”
While denying the charge of raising the price of Covishield to earn more profits, Poonawalla said that this is completely wrong. He described this vaccine as the cheapest vaccine on the planet.
Had an excellent meeting with all our partners & stakeholders in the U.K. Meanwhile, pleased to state that COVISHIELD’s production is in full swing in Pune. I look forward to reviewing operations upon my return in a few days.
— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) May 1, 2021