Adar Poonawalla, chief of the Serum Institute of India that manufactures one of the two vaccine against Covid-19, will be provided “Y category” security across the country. The Union Home Ministry issued orders regarding this on Wednesday after conducting a detailed threat assessment, reports said.
‘Y category’ security given to prominent people involves the presence of 11 security personnel – one or two of them commandos and the rest policemen, a report in the NDTV said.
The announcement comes on the day when Serum Institute announced a cut in price of Covishield it plans to sell to states to Rs 300 per dose from the earlier Rs 400. This follows widespread criticism of its pricing policy as it has sold the initial doses of Covishield to the central government at Rs 150 per dose.
The report said that surge pricing has provoked anger and debate, with opposition leaders and many on social media demanding “One vaccine one price”.
However, Poonawalla said that the earlier price was subsidised only for a limited time period on the government’s request.
“The average price is around $20 (Rs 1,500)… (but) because of the Modi government’s request, we are providing at subsidised rates… It is not that we’re not making profits… but we are not making super profits, which is key to re-investing,” Poonawalla reportedly said.
“As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of Serum Institute India, 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,” Poonawalla said in a tweet.